Art/Design-Led Environmental Education

My work in art-led environmental education takes place across multiple organizations. The Earth Systems Journey model is owned by Full Spring Studio, LLC and is used in some projects at the University of Minnesota by permission.

About Art and Design-led Environmental Education:

Environmental education is often taught within science education, even though ideals set forth for environmental education integrate many disciplines including the arts and humanities. Art/Design-Led Environmental Education can set the stage for student interest in the environment, by connecting students with story and meaning, while putting integrated scientific and technical concepts into a personally relevant context that engages their emotions. As an artist, Brigham brings participatory art practice concepts into the design of curriculum. As an architect, Brigham brings her perspective on how people perceive the interdependent interconnections of the built environment and natural environment. While other art-environment explorations are underway, the focus of Brigham's current research and outreach in this area is on a model called Earth Systems Journey (ESJ) that she developed at Full Spring Studio, LLC. Her work at the University of Minnesota in this area brings in new collaborators to explore ESJ model variations and research model outcomes.

About Earth Systems Journey (ESJ) (from website

Mission: “Help kids connect and contribute to the world around them.”

Earth Systems Journey* (ESJ) is a curriculum framework for art-led, experiential, place-based environmental education about environmental flows, (such as water, air, energy or material) through the school building and grounds. ESJ is an approach that teaches ecological and environmental content, principles, analysis and decision skills in way that shows how human-engineered systems are integrated with natural systems. At its core, the design of an Earth Systems Journey is to make a special journey starting from a place of personal experience, following a flow of interest to its source and destination, as far as you can, so that when you return to where you started, your view of that place and its flows is transformed by knowing the larger story that runs through it and the places, and people and natural elements that live in relation to it. What makes the journey “special” is its composition as a transformative experience paying attention to props, interactive and expressive activities, participatory storytelling, and time to reflect and integrate the experience into a personal story. By using the natural learning form of story, complex systems can be made both engaging, and comprehensible. (*Earth Systems Journey was formerly called “Systems Journey.”)