Each year, a faculty committee at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) selects an upcoming alum for a solo exhibition of their work at Napa Hall's Gradwall Gallery. It offers full creative license, including determining a theme, production, and curation. Nathan Plaisted, Playstead's founder, was honored with the opportunity following graduation and before establishing his design practice. 
Some studies indicate that by 2080, approximately 65 to 100 percent of land for coffee growth will be unsuitable for plant development due to global warming. In short, Coffea Arabica will be extinct. The initial tasks were to establish communication with people actively involved in specialty coffee that understand the impact through regular interaction—producers. Then, create designs that share their story and reveal consumers' effects on the environment by consuming the second most purchased commodity—coffee.
At its onset, it was necessary to determine whom to represent. Careful research resulted in less than five companies suitable for the project. Of those, one company expressed interest in collaboration.
​​​​​​​So, numerous exchanges with Marco Ariz of the El Aguila Coffee Estate and Olympia Coffee Roasters led to a core idea. It was important to instill the plethora of information into essential elements while maintaining their national, sociocultural, and geographical identities identity through color, people, symbols, and location. Unfortunately, budget constraints limited the ability to create an immersive experience for attendees entirely. Plans included modifying lighting and humidity to recreate sun-drenched coffee farms, sound design to induce the feeling of standing in the Ariz family's native forests, and an interactive coffee component inviting attendees on the producers' path with a to-scale trek loaded with coffee. 

Design Annual 2021, Graphis Inc.
Solo Exhibition, sole honoree, CSUCI's Gradwall Gallery 
Design Annual 2021, Honorable Mention, Graphis Inc. 
The works contribute to a reciprocal narrative involving all of us in this deceptively simple exchange, emphasizing the potentially disastrous current state of affairs regarding our environment.
Opening night of the exhibition included coffee service with coffee grown at the Ariz family farm, Finca El Aguila. Within the first two hours, attendees finished 46 cups of coffee, and 20% of people who never drank coffee enjoyed the beverage for the first time owing to an entirely new experience that opened a dialogue about coffee, our environment, and the people directly affected by it.
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