The Green Wall, Virginia Commonwealth University

Creative Placemaking, Interdisciplinary, Member News

September 27, 2018

“I advertised knowing this course is outside of the box of what a typical biology student would take. And that’s kind of the point. I have always recognized the value of art, especially in the context of communicating complex scientific ideas. Not everyone communicates in the way a scientist does. Something as complicated as climate change requires a lot of ways to look at the challenge.” 
—Chris Gough, Ph.D., Assitant Professor of Biology, VCU


The Green Wall: A unique, interdisciplinary class

Stephen Fong, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair of chemical and life science engineering, said he began tossing ideas with Jon-Phillip Sheridan, assistant professor of photography and film, after meeting at a sustainability retreat.

“This idea of the green wall came up as one we both saw as interesting, tangible and meeting immediate needs. It’s timely with the global level of CO2,” Fong said.

The project could also be completed within a short timeframe. Green walls, also known as vertical gardens, involve support structures, growing material and durable plants and watering systems. They serve multiple functions, including carbon dioxide sequestration, cooling of the local environment, improving building efficiency, and beautification.

Forty-five students enrolled in the class from the School of the Arts, School of Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences’ Department of Biology.

Learn more about this interdisciplinary class and project on VCU’s website >>


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