Expanding communities of sustainable practice symposium proceedings 2018

Archer, Suzanne and Broadhead, Samantha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9469-1233 (2019) Expanding communities of sustainable practice symposium proceedings 2018. Leeds Arts University. ISBN 9780956197085


We are excited to present the proceedings from our second one-day symposium at Leeds Arts University focusing on how to expand communities of sustainable practice within and beyond art and design schools. Given the need for art and design education to transform its mode of operating in times of massive ecological crises, the symposium was an opportunity to learn from cases of good practice, to get feedback on one’s initiatives and to network with others eager to make art and design education an effective advocate of sustainable practice. Communities of sustainable practice are groups or networks of educators, designers, artists, craftspeople, researchers and students who aim to place sustainability concerns at the heart of their practice. Through the symposium we wanted to provide a space for people involved in such initiatives to effectively network and strategise together in order to enhance the positive impact and reach of what they do. During this one-day symposium, we focused on the importance of collaboration and networks in creating art and design practices that contribute to eco-social sustainability. We were especially interested in complicating as well as expanding the notions of sustainability within art and design education and how they contribute to engaging the public in sustainable and progressively transformative eco-social practices. We are convinced that sustainability is also about meshing up and intersecting practice and theory, thus the day encompassed theoretical and practical engagements with sustainability – always with a focus on making this day productive in terms of building alliances, projects and shared commitments between the people attending. People who are active within art and design schools who foster sustainability initiatives contributed to the debates: tutors, students, technicians, researchers and more. We especially valued contributions by students as this is where many of the most innovative initiatives come from. This one-day event included a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Joanna Boehnert, parallel discussion sessions where participants presented their initiatives and networking lunch enabling discussions allowing knowledge transfer around pressing issues that art and design education faces in terms of engaging with ecological crises.

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