Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice

14 October - 15 October 2021

Symposium organisers: Dr Dawn Woolley, Isabel Benton and Professor Samantha Broadhead

Building on our successful symposiums in 2016 and 2018 our third symposium took place in October 2021 to continue the dialogue on how to expand communities of sustainable practice within and beyond art and design schools.

This time we were honoured to have the Keynotes from:

  • Maxwell Ayamba a journalist, academic and founder of the Sheffield Environmental Movement He will talk about 100 Black Men Walk for Health Group, which inspired the production of the national play “Black Men Walking” by Eclipse and Royal Theatre Production in 2018/19. His charity website address is: www.semcharity.org.uk
  • Dr. Max Liboiron, Associate Professor, Geography. Director, CLEAR, Memorial University, Newfoundland. They will be talking about the AIR project.​​​​​​​

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, obtain feedback on one’s initiatives and to network with others who are 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 provided 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.

Click here to view the abstract booklet

Image: Dawn Woolley, (2019) Modern nature building wrap. Commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield and Wakefield City Council.

Aims of the Symposium

We wanted to focus on the importance of collaboration and networks in creating art and design practices that contribute to the four pillars of sustainability; environmental, social, economic and cultural. We were especially interested in complicating as well as expanding the notions of sustainability within art and design education and on how they contribute to engaging the public in sustainable and progressively transformative practices.

As we are convinced that sustainability is also about meshing together and intersecting practice and theory, the day spanned from theoretical to 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.

  • 14 October - 15 October 2021
  • This conference took place online