Arts Thread

Dara Benno
Industrial Design MFA

Rhode Island School of Design

Graduates: 2022

Specialisms: Sustainable Fashion/Textiles / Fashion Technology / Industrial / Product / Interiors

My location: Providence Rhode Island, United States

dara-benno ArtsThread Profile
Rhode Island School of Design

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Dara Benno

dara-benno ArtsThread Profile

First Name: Dara

Last Name: Benno

University / College: Rhode Island School of Design

Course / Program: Industrial Design MFA

Graduates: 2022

Specialisms: Sustainable Fashion/Textiles / Fashion Technology / Industrial / Product / Interiors

My Location: Providence Rhode Island, United States

Website: Click To See Website

About:

I am a multidisciplinary designer motivated by an interest in social and environmental issues. I have always questioned the world around me - eager to gain a better understanding of person and space, object and emotion, individual and collective. With a background in fine art and linguistics, I have explored these themes using materiality and storytelling, guiding people through curated installations and experiences that inspire critical thinking. My creative process continues to be inspired by an interest in the relationships we have with each other and with our surroundings; analyzing our behaviors and how or why these behaviors change. Form and function plays a large role in my work - regularly thinking about how object meaning is interpreted and the importance of interactive encounters.My design practice is based on a human-centered approach and research methodology encompassing an expansive analysis of past and present in order to critically think and strategize about the future. Through an exploratory development process across complex systems, products and experiences, I am able to gain valuable insights and consistently work toward impactful designs that reach people on an emotional level.

ICOE Flood Garment

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Appreciations  4

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What does it mean to adapt to a changing world? Whether or not we incorporate a response system to risk into our daily lives will directly affect how we will be able to adapt to the imminent threats brought on by climate change. With rising sea levels and record increase in rainfall, coastal cities aren't the only high risk zones for flooding. Lacking the infrastructure necessary to feel prepared for climate emergencies, how can our existing lifestyles provide comfort in the embodied acknowledgment of disaster awareness and incorporate elements of preparedness into daily life? The ICOE Flood Garment transforms something as mundane as a shower curtain into an inflatable outfit in the event of a sudden natural disaster, helping not only the individual feel prepared but also empowered to take action in the moment of crisis. A functioning flotation collar and tear-away panels for others in need offer elements of community resilience, embodying a shift away from an individualistic mindset. Removable paracord embedded throughout seams allows for flexibility in a scenario where an inflatable piece needs to be thrown to someone out of reach, with the garment's vibrant orange signifying to others an element of safety. Instructional icons on the curtain itself allow for a mental rehearsal of steps to take in an emergency scenario, adding to feelings of preparedness and easing sentiments of anxiety and despair. In the moment that the shower curtain is torn down and the garment is removed, a state of emergency is declared by the individual. By removing the outfit on a "regular" day and choosing to wear it, the ICOE objects become a statement, using fashion and self expression as a public mode of not only sparking dialogue surrounding the climate crisis but also acting as a reminder of accountability and community resilience. In an effort to limit excess waste, the ICOE curtain and garment were constructed from repurposed shower curtain samples provided by Quiet Town, an ethical and sustainably-focused home goods brand based out of California.