Taking in the Sights and Smells of Campus


ICUL, (pronounced i, cool) Wickson Hall people know how to get around.  Through coordination and collaboration, Wickson Hall ICE and ULTRANS coworkers have seen 2 art exhibits and one stinky flower on campus this year.

Design Museum

The first exhibit was to the Design Musem & Design Collection to view the Bags Across the Globe exhibit.  This exhibit featured collaboration between a small group of people committed to make a change in the plastic shopping bag issue.  Design Professor, Ann Savageau created a global collaboration BAG, Bags Across the Globe and had UC Davis Design students help her create cloth and vinyl shopping bags from the various waste sites they visited.  Some of those sites were fabric samples from interior design houses, vinyl banners from exhibition banners and various sites on campus. These bags were on display in the museum along with a giant tornado constructed completely of the plastic bags collected over a short period of time. Each one of us was encouraged to make a commitment to change our use of plastic bags, and a member of our unit even won a bag through a secret drawing!  You can visit the Design Museum & Design Collection page to read
the exhibit, http://designmuseum.ucdavis.edu/exhibition.html.

The New Nelson Gallery

Our next exhibit took us to the Nelson Gallery at their new location.  Located in the old University Club across campus, we were treated to a photo montage on communalism.  Across the Great Divide: A Photo Chronicle of the Counterculture, photography by Roberta Price, had significant timing as our own campus communal location, The Domes, was on the demolition hit list. Roberta Prices photo's were mostly in black and white and documented the 1960's "utopian living arrangements" at 2 communes: Libre in Colorado and Drop City in the southwest.
Ms. Price's photos document the communalism practiced at each commune and the "back-to-the-land" practices popular with the youth in the  1960's.  Much like UC Davis's own community "The Domes" where living close to the land and creating a more intimate relationship with the environment, their community and place, Ms. Price's exhibit shows techniques and ideas from legendary architects used to create  domed living spaces. For more about this exhibit, go to http://nelsongallery.ucdavis.edu/archive.php.

The Conservatory

Lastly and just as memorable is the visit to the Conservatory on campus to smell and view the incredible Amorphophallus titanum, or the titan arum.  Nicknamed, Ted the Titan, this plant has bloomed 5 times since it was brought to the Conservatory back in 1995. Actually growing from a corm, Ted took 8 years to bloom, first sending out vegetative growth in the form of a giant leaf that resembled a tree in it's height and shape. When the flower finally starts to grow, you can tell the difference early on in the germinating stage, and the flower bud takes weeks to form then finally bloom.  So the flower isn't really a flower, but a flower holder. A frilly petal is really the spathe that covers the spadix.  Inside the spadix are serveral hundred tiny flowers, male and female.  In order to attract its pollinator - flies and carrion beetles, the spadix sends out a scent mimicking that of a dead animal.  We all had a lot of fun taking whiffs of the potent bud and watching others having a sniff.  You can read more aboutTed the Titan at http://greenhouse.ucdavis.edu/conservatory/.