Planning for Downstream/Upstream began in Summer 2010. It became clear that in order to fulfill my graduate study goals to explore the expressive potential of infrastructure, I would need to complement the photography and artist's books that looked at its parts with an interactive journey that followed its flow.
Interested in foundational narratives, and inspired by my children's curiosity about what was underneath the sink, I approached their early learning center to explore the idea of a collaboration around a journey through the urban water cycle, starting at the sink in the Pre-K classroom. Children's Discovery Academy staff and teachers are always refreshing curriculum and looking for new best practices, and were excited to participate.
A project like this involves a wide network (see evolving team list.) The Project Plan document evolved throughout meetings and calls with community partners, and will continue to be a living document.
One of the issues I worked on in January was funding. I applied for an Institute on the Environment Mini Grant to support the development of a curriculum model based on the main Downstream/Upstream Demonstration project. It was wonderful to connect with even more potential advisory group members within and outside the University of Minnesota as part of the process.