The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: February 11, 2008
Huskies add flavor - green dog, nano dog, and alumni dog
(Nanowerk News) People walking around [Northeastern University] campus may notice some new additions to outdoor scenery - husky statues.
The statues, sponsored by Northeastern and the visual arts department, aim to bring art and creativity to campus while promoting some of the school's achievements, said Brian Kenny, vice president of marketing and communications.
"I think they look good, retro maybe," said Austin King, a freshman pharmacy major. "I have no idea what [they do] though."
Kenny said they're part of the NU Creates campaign.
"It's a fun way to allow expressions of creativity," he said.
The Green Dog, located outside the Behrakis Health Sciences Center, represents the university's commitment to new and sustainable energy.
"With all the attention on sustainability issues, we thought it would be good to have a husky that represents sustainability," Kenny said.
The designer is Michael Ulman, who graduated from Northeastern with an art degree in 2000.
"I thought about the different sources of energy; wind, solar and battery storage units," Ulman said. "I put solar panels on his back and the battery cell around his neck reminded me of a St. Bernard carrying a whisky bottle. I wanted to make it look like the new sources of energy."
Nano Dog, which sits in the Krentzman Quadrangle, was created in recognition of Northeastern's efforts in nanomanufacturing research.
"It's supposed to be about nanotechnology, but on a large scale, using a dog," said Jay Laird, assistant academic specialist for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, who designed Nano Dog. "We based it on 'Terminator 2' where the robot builds itself out of a puddle of goo."
Chris Cerrato, a visual arts major who graduated last year, helped build and maintain these statues.
Though these are the two newest huskies, they're actually not the first of their kind.
"There is a third husky, which was actually the first, in the Alumni Center to celebrate the inauguration," Kenny said.
Alumni Dog was created by Ed Andrews, associate professor and acting chair of the Visual Arts Department. It was decorated with images taken from old yearbooks and includes a viewfinder as the dog's eyes, which reveal photos from alumni events. It also has a button on the dog's nose, so when it's rubbed for good luck, like the traditional husky, it barks.
All three statues are part of the Huskies Everywhere campaign, which was launched during President Joseph Aoun's inauguration last March. It also includes nine 14-inch huskies that were all designed by faculty and alumni and are displayed in Curry Student Center and other places.
"For the inauguration, we set up mini versions, one representing each school, and those have since been moved around campus," Kenny said. "Those are the puppies."
It was with these huskies that Ulman and Laird got their start in husky design. Both volunteered to design miniature versions and President Aoun favored their work, so they were asked to design bigger models.
Despite the purpose, some students are still confused with the goal.
"It looks like Buzz Lightyear," said middler history and psychology major Jaime Bunting about the Green Dog. "I don't think they're unattractive, but I think they could advertise the purpose better so people know [what they're for] and don't just see them as strange-looking huskies."
There are three husky molds remaining that have yet to be designed, so the school is looking for artists, themes and all the creativity Northeastern can offer for a husky.
"The creative effort has been outside the visual arts program, but it's my understanding that they're coming together more to give students a chance to be creative," Laird said.