Final Project Proposal: Lake Tahoe Expansion and Environmental Impact Critique


For my Critical Objects Final I am proposing a piece that deals with the concept of environmental impact caused by rapidly expanding travel and leisure industries. More specifically the persistent attempts of these companies to develop in Northern Lake Tahoe.


Local organizations such as Sierra Watch and Keep Tahoe Blue have made it their mission to protect the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe from the various threats to the area. One such threat, that I will be focusing on, is KSL Capital Partners. KSL purchased Squaw Valley in 2010 thanks to many mishaps in Placer County board approval of real estate development in the area. KSL then began to plan a massive development that would drastically change the region in terms of congestion, environmental pollution, and degredation of the natural landscape for leisure development.

With this information in mind the critical object that I want to create will be focused on the negative implications that the potential development will bring in terms of accessibility/exclusivity to the region and clarity of the water. When I say accessibility I mean it in regards to the way that the development will cause the area to become even more difficult to access for people due to traffic congestion and tourism. By exclusive I mean that these developments only add to the rising prices in Tahoe which has been causing local residents to be priced out of the area and add to the rising prices of access to the various ski resorts. Clarity refers to the clarity of the lake. Over the past 30 years Tahoe has been losing its water clarity due to pollution. Much of the pollution is from inorganic sediments being put into the lake through various means but the added car traffic and habitation to the area from KSL’s planned development would be a major factor as well.



Inspiration for this piece comes from a few different sources. Phillipp Schmitt’s Camera Restricta for one made me think of possibilities in working with the exclusivity concept.


Other devices that are inspiring to this piece are the ones built for on the ground protesting in either the sense of lock on devices or pieces being built for group protests.

I am still not completely sure what I want the physicality of the piece to entails but I know that I want to push it towards the disobedient object end of the critical spectrum. It is important for me to take a step back from the type of objects I have been making this semester and make something that is less about a system and is more of a purposeful device or object.


I will be working alone on this project.

Topic: Over-expansion of North Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley

Attribute: disruptive

Device: Metaphor

Mood: annoyance


Must use PDLC film & not use any acrylic or environmentally unfriendly materials. Reasons behind these constraints are that using PDLC film works along with the idea of clarity and forces me to go down that route. Since the piece is about environmental damage and expansion I don’t want to use any materials that cause harm to the environment to a reasonable extent so I wont be using any acrylic for this piece.