This project was inspired by Dr. Kelli L. Larson’s research which disproved three common landscaping misconceptions in the Phoenix Valley. The first misconception states that newcomers, not long-time Phoenicians more often have and prefer grassy lawns instead of xeric, desert-adapted landscapes when actually the opposite is true. Secondly, the rise in xeric landscapes is not due to personal choice but rather a variety of other factors such as developer decisions. Finally, Dr. Larson’s research also disproves the assumption that people who possess pro-environmental attitudes correspondingly demonstrate sustainable landscaping behavior, and finds that people with those attitudes actually tend to irrigate more frequently in the winter months. Debunking these misconceptions is important because the long-term impacts of global climate change could have effects on water use in the desert southwest, and promoting water conservation in urban residential landscaping is an important step in the creation of sustainable water use policy. <br/><br/>The goal of my project was to make this information more accessible to broader public audiences who may not have access to it outside of research circles. I decided to create a zine, a small batch, hand-made mini-magazine, centered around disproving these myths so that the information could be distributed to broader audiences. I conducted informal stakeholder interviews to inform my design in order to appeal to those audiences, and constructed a 16-page booklet which debunked the myths and encouraged critical thinking about individual water use and urban landscaping habits. The zine included hand-painted illustrations and was constructed as a physical copy with the intention of eventually copying and distributing both a physical and digital version. The purpose of this project is to create a way of accessing reliable information about urban landscaping for residents of the Phoenix Valley, where the climate and geography necessitate water conservation.
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