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Design School scores hole in one at Phoenix Open

The idea for a four-hole miniature golf installation at the annual Phoenix Open golf tournament began two years ago in Berlin when Darren Petrucci, director of The Design School, was taken to a rooftop building putt-putt course and handed a golf club.

Students and faculty from The Design School created putt-putt holes to demonstrate the energy-saving efforts of Waste Management at the 2012 Phoenix Open. Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The 18-hole miniature golf course had the element of pure fun that Petrucci wanted to inject into a project for ASU Herberger Institute architecture and design students.

When Petrucci returned to the Tempe campus, The Design School faculty embraced the idea and expanded it to include one of professional golf’s premiere tournaments: the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the TPC golf course in Scottsdale.

This semester an estimated 30 students and faculty from The Design School’s architecture, landscape architecture and design disciplines teamed up with Waste Management, the sponsor of the Phoenix Open, to showcase the Houston-based company’s sustainability efforts at the 2012 Phoenix Open.

Students designed four holes that each featured one of the company’s sustainability initiatives, from the use of nonpotable water and recycling plastic cups to solar power and the reuse of materials.

Avid golfers on the project made sure that each hole presented a putting challenge.

The four-hole installation was prominently displayed at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, attended by more than 500,000 tournament-goers.

The interactive display provided visitors with a chance to try their skills at a hole in one and, at the same time, learn about Waste Management’s sustainability initiatives and Arizona’s four ecosystems.

The project took an estimated five months, over the span of two semesters, from conception and design to installation.

The miniature golf project showcased “what we are capable of as a group of multi-discipline designers,’’ said Christopher Lasch, a lecturer in The Design School and one of the project’s lead faculty members.

In recognition of its appreciation, Waste Management donated $10,000 in scholarships to the student participants.

“Waste Management is extremely pleased with the innovative ways The Design School at Arizona State University showcased some of our sustainability and charitable initiatives to all of the tournament fans through an interactive game of miniature golf at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said Dave Aardsma, chief sales and marketing officer for Waste Management.

At the close of the Phoenix Open, the miniature golf installation will be on display as part of Emerge, an event scheduled to take place March 1-3, at Neeb Plaza, on the Tempe campus, where nationally known artists and scientists will join with ASU faculty and students to explore emerging technologies and the futures they promise.



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Susan Felt
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