Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design and Production

This post comes from Julie’s Bicycle.

Sustainable Design and Production

at_first_sight_02

29th January 2014, 1.30pm – 5pm (followed by drinks)
Contact Theatre, Manchester

Sustainable Design and Production is a cross-arts event that invites practitioners in theatre, dance, music, festivals and outdoor arts, and visual arts to discuss how we can produce work to be more environmentally sustainable in the cultural sector.

The event will provide a platform for presentations, provocations and discussions that offer insight into integrating environmental sustainability into artistic leadership, performance making, design, and production management.

Speakers include:

Jack Thompson, Technical Director of Manchester International Festival

Professor Pamela Howard OBE, a scenographer and director

David Evans, Production Manager of National Theatre Wales

Click here to book a place or find out more.

Investigating the Aesthetics of Ecological Design and Eco-scenography with Dr Wallace Heim and Tanja Beer at WSD2013

Sustainability-Tanja-Beerweb1Thurs 12 Sept 16.30 – 18.00

The Willow Theatre

What are the aesthetics of sustainable design? New ways are needed of appreciating ecologically valid design that can incorporate the artistic dimensions with the material effects. This presentation will explore the application of ecological design in the Performing Arts as it creates new sensibilities, new dramaturgies and new forms of experience throughout a range of theatre productions. These aesthetics expand on existing design critiques and offer ways to consider the relations between the content of what is performed to the ecological and artistic dimensions of stage design. Starting with a philosophical perspective, this session will talk through examples with focus on the emerging paradigm of ‘eco-scenography’ – a movement that seeks to integrate ecological principles into all stages of scenographic thinking and production. Taking a holistic approach to materials and resources, this approach asks “can we create designs that enrich our environment and community, as well as our audience?”

The presentation includes a live and interactive showing of Tanja Beer’s “STRUNG”, an eco-scenographic investigation that merges the boundaries between performer and designer, installation and costume, site and material.

Open to all.

Price: £6

BUY TICKETS

Key contributors

Dr Wallace Heim – http://www.wallaceheim.com

Tanja Beer – http://www.tanjabeer.com/

Land Arts Generator Initiative events

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Arsenal-Gallery-200x300June 27- August 30, Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, New York

“Our civilization has been built on non-renewable resources and an outmoded presumption that nature is limitless. Certainly art will continue to serve many purposes; however, for artists and designers who choose to engage in what Joanna Macy terms The Great Turning, what is the role of beauty?” —Ann T. Rosenthal

This opening event kick off the summer exhibition at Arsenal Gallery (in Central Park), NYC, is also act as the book launch to their latest publication “Regenerative Infrastructures,” which features 60 submissions to the 2012 LAGI design competition for Freshkills Park as well as several essays, including “Redefining Beauty within the Context of Sustainability” by Ann Rosenthal

Formerly a symbol of immense urban waste, the Fresh Kills Landfill is being transformed into an enormous parkland destined to exemplify the values of ecological restoration and environmental sustainability. In partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the Land Art Generator Initiative held an ideas competition for a site-specific public artwork designed to operate as a source of clean energy for the city utility grid, using Freshkills Park as the design site. This volume features many of the top submissions to that open call, each with the capacity to power hundreds of homes. The Land Art Generator Initiative creates sustainable design solutions that integrate art and technology into renewable energy infrastructure around the world. Regenerative Infrastructures draws a much needed connection between the two critical issues of sustainable development—energy generation and waste management—highlighting solutions that address both problems at once, thereby creating economically beneficial hybrid utility installations.

For more information : http://landartgenerator.org/newsevents/

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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MICRONATION/MACRONATION Democratizing the Energy

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

How can a social cultural organisation take on issues that are creating social unrest? Earlier this year Indonesia experienced demonstrations and clashes between protesters and police over proposed price hikes in fuel.  Indonesia, like most of the rest of the world, is highly dependent on fossil fuels.  Whilst the immediate crisis was averted by a the Government withdrawing the price hike, the challenge remains.

HONF (House for Natural Fiber) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has responded to the energy crisis and the results are presented at the Langgeng Art Foundation.  The project draws on local knowledge of plants as well as ways to use new media and technology.  They have framed the project as follows:

The presentation—as a sustainable design prototype—consists of 3 core components: a) Installation of a fermentation/distillation machine to process hay (raw material) into ethanol (alternative energy to substitute fossil fuel); b) Satellite data grabber: to obtain data related to agricultural production (weather, climate, seasons); c) Super-Computer: to process data (weather, seasons as well as ethanol production capacity), which is also capable of predicting when Indonesia can reach energy and food independence if this MICRONATION/MACRONATION sustainable project design were to be implemented as a public strategy and policy to achieve the condition of energy and food independence in Indonesia.

This presentation is a good opportunity for us to reassess basic performative premises of various practices combining science, technology and arts. HONF’s project—as with their previous projects—actually blurs the boundaries that have thus far been setting apart science, technology and arts. They combine all three, which to us brings home the question: where is the boundary between aesthetic experience and function? What possibilities could the relationship among science, technology and arts bring when confronted to actual problems in today’s communities?

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Earth Matters On Stage 2012 at Carnegie Mellon University

  There have been a bevvy of eco-theater conferences in recent years, but it’s great to bring it all together with Earth Matters on Stage, which took place this past May 31st-June 2 at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, PA. It included a collection of performances, presentations and panels covering everything from carbon footprint to eco-dramaturgy. Session titles included: “Sustainable Design,” “Ecocriticism & Contemporary American Theater,” and “The Carbon Footprint of Theatrical Production,” among many others. That last one was by CSPA’s Ian Garrett, and involved discussions of all the usual players: Arcola Theatre, Julie’s Bicycle, the Broadway Green Alliance . . . Discussions of sustainable design carried throughout the festival and bled into discussion of performance throughout the weekend. Again and again: how do we make theatrical production more sustainable? How do we incorporate or cultural dialogue with the planet into the work? How do we make work that goes beyond “being less bad” into something that actually has a positive impact on the environment?

Below are a selection of photos from the event. Keynote speaker and performer was Holly Hughes, one of the NEA four, whose most recent work (“The Dog and Pony Show: Bring your own Pony,”) examines her relationship with her pets. Ecodrama Playwright competition winners this year included Chantal Bilodeau, whose work “Sila,” explores a cultural cross-section of inuit culture, scientific researchers, and polar bears, and Mark Rigney, whose play, “Bears,” depicts a slow deterioration of civilization through the intimate stories of a group of zoo-bound bears.  The work of Earth Matters founder Theresa May was ever-present in the discussion on eco-dramaturgy, and the weekend ended with a discussion of conferences past and future. The dialogue continues, as we discuss and discover more ways that our set of skills can serve the environment.

Conference 12 – Delivering Sustainable Theatres

This post comes to you from Cultura21

12 June 2012 – Stratford Circus, London

The challenge of achieving the triple bottom line

Conference 12 looks at the sustainable design, development and operation of theatre buildings in relation to environmental, economic and social disciplines, and the challenges of delivering sustainable theatres for future generations. The conference will look at what sustainable development now means for theatres, what opportunities exist for theatre buildings in the new National Planning Policy Framework, how funding programmes are now promoting more sustainable capital development of theatre buildings, and what is needed to ensure theatres can meet the triple bottom line head on and continue to thrive.

The conference will explore the way how theatre buildings have addressed the sustainability agenda and introduced new technologies and adapted to meet rising energy costs, tougher environmental building standards, economic constraints and the expectations of the audiences,  and they will also share the experiences of the 48 London theatres on The Theatres Trust ERDF funded ECOVENUE project.

Conference 12 will be of interest to those trying to maximise economic, social and environmental returns from their theatre buildings through redesign, adaptation or new builds. It provides the opportunity to discuss these issues with other theatres, government and arts policy makers, theatre consultants and architects and take part in the debate.

Final deadline for registration is 9 June 2012

For more details and registration, click here.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Theatres Trust Conference 12: ‘Delivering Sustainable Theatres’ is open for booking

The challenge of achieving the triple bottom line

Booking is now open for The Theatres Trust’s sixth annual conference Delivering Sustainable Theatres taking place at Stratford Circus, London on Tuesday 12 June 2012.

Conference 12 looks at the sustainable design, development and operation of theatre buildings in relation to environmental, economic and social disciplines, and the challenges of delivering sustainable theatres for future generations.

Conference Chair

  • Samira Ahmed

Session Chairs

  • Dorothy Wilson MBE, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, mac, Birmingham
  • Mark Robinson, Director, Thinking Practice
  • Nick Starr, Chief Executive, National Theatre, London.

Keynote Speakers

  • Griff Rhys Jones, Chairman, Civic Voice
  • Baroness Hanham CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government

The event will explore how theatre buildings have addressed the sustainability agenda and introduced new technologies, adapted to meet rising energy costs, tougher environmental building standards, economic constraints and the expectations of audiences – and see what lessons have been learnt.

In addition to showcasing the experiences of the 48 London theatres on The Theatres Trust ERDF funded ECOVENUE project, particular focus will be paid to just what sustainable development means for theatres now, what opportunities exist for theatre buildings in the new National Planning Policy Framework, how funding programmes are now promoting more sustainable capital development of theatre buildings, and what is needed to ensure theatres can meet the triple bottom line head on and continue to thrive.

Conference 12 will be of critical interest to those trying to maximise economic, social and environmental returns from their theatre buildings through redesign, adaptation or new builds. It provides the opportunity to discuss these issues with other theatres, government and arts policy makers, theatre consultants and architects and take part in the debate.

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from many engaging speakers and leaders including: Dame Elizabeth Forgan, Chair, Arts Council England; Rosemary Squire, Ambassador Theatre Group; John Holden, DEMOS Associate and Visiting Professor, City University, London; Rab Bennetts OBE, Bennetts Associates Architects

Coinciding with the 34th ABTT Theatre Show, the Conference’s timing and location aims to maximise opportunities for the theatre sector, visitors and exhibitors to engage with both events in the dynamically evolving Olympic Borough of Newham.

Industry support is key to producing Delivering Sustainable Theatres and in 2012 The Theatres Trust is delighted to announce the support of the following organisations: Charcoalblue Ltd, Clay Paky, ETC Ltd, ShowTex, ABTT, Audio Light Systems, Martin Professional, State Automation, Northern Light, Arup, Harlequin Floors, Stage Systems, Theatre Project Consultants, White Light, Wigwam, Global Design Systems, Stage Electrics, Stratford Circus and The Society of Theatre Consultants.  Our Media Partners are Lighting & Sound International and The Stage.

The Theatres Trust

Protecting Theatres for Everyone

National Advisory Public Body for Theatres

Ecovenue and Conference 12 are funded by the European Regional Development Fund and The Theatres Trust.

 The Theatres Trust: The Theatres Trust is The National Advisory Public Body for theatres.  The Trust was established by The Theatres Trust Act 1976 ‘to promote the better protection of theatres’.  We are a statutory consultee on theatre buildings in the planning system, we provide expert advice on the sustainable development of theatre buildings, and we help promote awareness and solutions for theatres at risk.  We champion all theatres, historic, contemporary and new, in theatre use, in other uses or disused. Our central London Theatreland-based Resource Centre provides access to a specialist theatre building Reference Library including books and architectural plans. For more information: www.theatrestrust.org.uk

Ecovenue: Ecovenue is a significant theatre-specific environmental project run by The Theatres trust. It aims to improve the environmental performance for forty-eight London theatres and raise awareness of how to make theatres greener. Ecovenue is promoting the sustainability of theatres and the reduction of carbon emissions through the provision of free theatre-specific, environmental advice. Further information on Ecovenue and The Theatres Trust can be obtained from its website www.theatrestrust.org.uk

European Regional Development Fund: London European Regional Development Fund 2007 to 2013: The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is used to tackle regional disparities across Europe. The ERDF supports regional development through actions such as business innovation and support and regeneration. Working on behalf of the Mayor of London, the European Programmes Management Unit (EPMU) at the London Development Agency (LDA) is responsible for the administration of the 2007 to 2013 ERDF programme.

For futher information and images, or to register your interest please contact Suzanne McDougall suzanne.mcdougall@theatrestrust.org.uk T: 020 7836 8591  F: 020 7836 3302.

Trailer Gets Sleek and Sustainable Design

SCI-Arc student Dovid Feld has been helping us work out a new design for our 1951 Spartan Trailer.   The banquette area that wraps around the front windows will be the centerpiece for our indoor events:

Dovid's design envisions a modular banquette area for rehearsals and performances.

The area will be used for rehearsals, discussions, poetry and play readings, as well as art sessions with young people like our buddies the NOMADS. We took our inspiration from 1950′s-style diners. But we had to make sure that the seats would be light-weight so we could transform the space into a “stage” for concerts, puppet shows, etc.:

Vinly upholstery made with low VOCs and recycled content

Check out the upholstery material we are considering!   We are committed to building in a sustainable manner and take pride in doing considerable research before choosing materials.  This material is made from sturdy vinyl but it contains low VOC’s and uses 30% recycled content (20% post-consumer recycled polyester and 10% pre-consumer recycled vinyl).  We got the idea for using this particular brand from some of the students at SCI-Arc who working on a design for the Solar Decathlon, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The front windows have always been a key feature of Spartan trailers; the designs are intended to be reminiscent of an airplane cockpit.  However, the windows are fixed.  To open them up requires cutting into the skin and frame – not an easy feat.  The Spartan’s aluminum frame (a monocoque design) accounts for 70% of the trailer’s strength.  Cutting into it involves risk and opens up the possibility of leaks.

The bay window area of our 1951 Spartan is a great design. But the windows are fixed; we want to open them out. The job represents a considerable engineering challenge.

We’ve found the right guy for the job – Eddie Paul from EP Industries.  Opening up the windows, will allow us to make art (puppet shows, shadow plays, dances) available to outdoor audiences.  A small portable stage over the trailer tongue will add further possibilities:

The windows will open and a portable stage will go over the trailer tongue.

How is this all going to work?  We’ll figure that out as we go along, with the help of playwright and puppeteer Leila Ghaznavi and friends.  Her “Silken Veils” will be used as a template for other shows:  the audience will be seated outside;  marionettes and shadow puppets will be stage inside with actors and musicians on the outside stage.

Leila Ghaznavi’s “Silken Veils” will be used as a model for other performances we can stage in and around the trailer.

We’ve got a ways to go before we finish the restoration.  But we have a great new design to keep us motivated.  (Thanks, Dovid!)


This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

Call for participants/presenters in a panel presentation and round table discussion, with possible breakout sessions at Scenofest, PQ2011

Roundtable Information

10am  21st June

Considering Sustainable Design: expanding the possible by rethinking the way we create

In their book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue that we will never sell sustainable practice by pitching cutting back, but rather through creating products that are beneficial to the earth. As Braungart points out, ants have a greater biomass than humans, and have been industrious for millions of years, yet unlike humans, their industry nourishes the planet. This panel will consider the benefits of sustainable design practice beyond the ‘it feels right’ motivation. By Rethinking the Way We Create Things, might we be opening up to a whole new and exciting world of design possibilities?

If you are planning to attend PQ2011, are interested in this aspect of design, and feel you would be interested/available to participate, please send your proposed presentation topic (abstract), and a short bio to William Mackwood:  mackwood@yorku.ca

2pm 21st June

Sites of Performance – Theatre out of frames

This years Scenofest sees two major performance projects happening outside of a theatre building, so what is it that this form of theatre achieves that cannot be achieved through other means ? Over the last ten years there has been a real surge in the interest in making work in unorthodox spaces from garages, botanical gardens, intimate apartments to massive industrial units.  Increasingly this work seeks out intersection with other collaborators, historians, cultural geographers, urban planners as the work seeks to map hidden histories. Street theatre performance too has developed in sophistication and scale and artists are employed as a catalysts to re-imagine their futures. Work by pioneering artists like Meredith Monk, Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brooks and companies like Dogtroep, Skewed Vision, Wilson+Wilson, La Machine all shaped the form, but what does the future hold ?

This roundtable considers the unique opportunities offered through this work and explore sites of performance potential for spectacle / community engagement / regeneration / as text / scenographic material.

If you are planning to attend PQ2011, are interested in this aspect of performance, and feel you would be interested/available to participate, please send your proposed presentation topic (abstract), and a short bio to Peter Reed at peter.scenofest@gmail.com

Off-Pipe With A Little Night Soil Music

by Lydia Breen
Composting Toilet

OK, folks., it’s time to tackle this subject head on.  Trailer Trash needs a toilet.   This may be a hard sell, but try to stick with us, because we are asking for your help.

The Trailer Trash Project is committed to creating a green space to live and perform art.  We want to conserve water and fuel and recycle whenever we can.  Or goal is to keep as much stuff as possible out of our landfills, oceans, rivers and lakes.A composting toilet was added to our wish list when we started thinking about the trailer’s design. When it came to holding tanks for water, we had to figure out our daily water needs.  That led us to wonder: What’s the use of a big expensive holding tank when most of that water would just get flushed down a toilet and sent into the sewer?  We thought why not use a toilet that requires no water at all?”

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Help Trailer Trash Get A Super Green Toilet CLICK HERE to donate $10

Nature’s Head will sell us a composting toilet at a reduced price ($500 vs. $875).  We can get there if  50 people donate $10 through our Indie GoGo campaign.  Donate $20 and we’ll send you a copy of philosopher-farmer Gene Logsdon’s smart and irreverant Holy Shit.  Here is an interview with Logsdon on WBUR’s Here and Now: “Farmer Calls For Managing Manure to Save Mankind”.

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The C.K. Choi building is widely recognized as a model of sustainable design

In case you think we are a bunch of extreme tree huggers, take a look at some of the organizations that have composting toilets:

 

  • Bronx Zoon (NYC)
  • Queens Botanical Garden (NYC)
  • C.K. Choi Building  (Vancouver)
  • Southface Eco Office (Atlanta, GA.)
  • Dufferin Grove Park ( Toronto)
  • Eco Dorm, Warren Wilson College (NC)
  • Neptune Elementary School (NJ)

…and lots of nature centers, trails, etc.

To see the system in action, check out this video made by the Bronx Zoo. Their system is designed for 500,000 uses a year.  They are also using the toilets to inform users with conservational messages.

Now, we’re getting down to brass tacks.  From what I read the toilets don’t smell (a vent fan should be kept running at all times).  Some people have told me that the toilets have a faintly earthy smell, like mushrooms.  O.K., I’m prepared to adjust to that.  But what about emptying the liquid and solid waste?  And where will I put it?

I admit, it will probably take me a little while to get used to this part.   Liquid waste will have to be emptied once or twice a week and dumped into a proper compost bin. The solid waste will require emptying less often and can also be dumped on a proper compost head.

I’m getting inspired and informed by two great, but very different books.  Gene Logsdon’s Holy Shit and  Joseph Jenkins’ Humanure Handbook, which Trailer Trash will review in an upcoming post.

Trailer Trash is a member of Fractured Atlas; donations are tax-deductible to the extent permissible by law. Your comments and donations are welcome.

Links: The Guardian  UK:  Humanure:  the end of sewage as we know it? Time Magazine:  Goodbye Toilets, Hello Extreme Composting Tree Hugger:  Vancouver Office Building Goes Off-Pipe National Geographic: Urine Battery Turns Pee Into Power ——–

Lydia Breen has written and made films about refugees, immigrants and displaced people for more than 30 years.  She has filmed on-location in refugee camps and war zones in more that 30 countries in all world regions.  In 2005 she left her New Orleans home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and was never able to return.  When the Trailer Trash Troupe is not using the Spartan,  Lydia will live stay in it and write about living small and green in difficult economic times. Her permanent home is a 1972 Aristocrat trailer that occupies less 100 square feet.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.