Last week saw the launch of a small research project we are involved in called Creative Transition that brings together staff and students across CCW (Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon) who are interested in notions of sustainability and resilience in art and design education.
The event was called ‘The Keys are Under the Mat’, and it was a day of presentations and discussions between staff and post-graduate students from across the three colleges. The first speaker Ian was from Transition Heathrow, an activist group based in the communities around the proposed runway expansion at Heathrow. Ian described the activity that the Transition group have been involved in and introduced us to the ideas and tools that have been developed by the Transition Towns network.
Andy Merritt from the Farm Shop then spoke about the urban food growing project set up in an empty shop in Dalston, by collective Something & Sons. They are exploring hydroponics, aquaponics and soil based growing and they are a great example of a collective approach to trying out new ways to sustainable urban living.
We have spent some time debating the terms sustainability and resilience amongst the group. The term resilience has been widely used lately, from designers to economists to politicians, and there are many definitions and insights about what it means. Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movements has written an article here on resilience thinking and there is even a Resilience Centre based in Stockholm, Sweden, that has a wonderful explanation of resilience with some insightful videos here. (Coincidentally, this Centre is also funded by MISTRA who are funding our new Future Fashion research project).
The Creative Transition project will be continuing the conversation we have already begun across the colleges with some workshops and more events planned in the next 6 months.
Stage 2 BA students held their Fashion Show last week in Brixton Market. The project was called ‘Transition’ and was inspired by the Transiton Town concept of low carbon, resilient communiites and approaches. A whole host of different creative textile reponses to the theme of transition were paraded through the wonderful indoor market.
We will be trying to capture some of the projects and their themes being explored by some of the students.
More images are on Mel Bowles’ flikr
Images: Mel Bowles
Here at TED we have been very interested in the Transition Town movements that have been emerging all around the world, where local communities are working together to build a low energy future to live and work in and to encourage a more sustainable life. The second year textile students here at Chelsea are working on their next project which is titled Transition.
The first Transition Town was founded in Totnes in Devon and there are now several London boroughs that have also joined up. Brixton has now become a Transition Town and several TED members have been involved in initiatives there including Clara Vuletich, and the textile collective she is part of bricolage, who had a temporary space in Brxiton Market last year.
The historic indoor market in Brixton has been transformed over the last year and had a ‘community facelift’. Artists and small businesses were given empty shops for two months and there is now a thriving market of restaurants, cafes, theatre groups and independent boutiques.
The project will end with a fashion show of the textiles and garments produced and the show will take place in Brixton Market on Thursday March 31st. We will be following the progress of the project, which will also be documented on the Chelsea Textile Student blog.