Leeds College of Art is excited to announce a one day symposium 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 is an opportunity to learn from cases of good practice, to get 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 want 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.

Aims & objectives

During this one day symposium, we want to focus on the importance of collaboration and networks in creating art and design practices that contribute to eco-social sustainability. We are especially interested in 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.

As we are convinced that sustainability is also about meshing up and intersecting practice and theory, the day will span 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.

Who for?

The symposium especially invites contributions by people active within art and design schools on sustainability fostering initiatives: tutors, students, technicians, administrators, researchers and more. We especially invite contributions by students as this is where many of the most innovative initiatives are coming from.

What will happen?

This one day event will include presentations by three keynotes speakers, parallel discussion sessions where participants present their initiatives and parallel roundtable discussions in which to debate pressing issues that art and design education faces in terms of engaging with ecological crises. It is the intention that all presenters’ essays will be published in the form of symposium proceedings.

How to get involved?

To present your initiative, please email an abstract outlining the issue of sustainability that interests you. If your application is successful, we will ask you to submit a 1,500 word paper and, on the day of the symposium, you will need to bring with you a 15-minute presentation about your initiative in order to share with others what it is you do to expand communities of sustainable practice.

We hope to publish the conference proceedings after the event.

You can either pay your delegate fee once your abstract has been accepted or prior to the event on the link below.

To attend the symposium, please email one question related to issues of sustainability that interests you. This question will be used to structure the parallel roundtable discussions.

To register please pay your delegate fee via the link below

Keynote speakers

Creative Concern: https://www.creativeconcern.com/ Steve Connor

Sustain RCA: https://www.rca.ac.uk/research-innovation/sustain/  Lizzie Harrison

Carnegie Mellon Transition Design: https://transitiondesign.net/ – Terry Irvin via video or skype


Leeds College of Art
Blenheim Walk
LS2 9AQ Leeds

Symposium fee

£60 – delegate fee for the day

£15 – student delegate

For groups attending with institutional funding, the fee is £60 for the first person and £15 for every additional person.

The fee includes breakfast, refreshments and lunch. In order to pay please go to the College store/shop on LCA’s website:

Click here for student fee

Click here for delegate fee

Application deadline

For presenters:

29th July 2016: Deadline for abstract submission

30 August 2016: Deadline for 1500 word paper

Information for application to present

Your bio – this can also be the bio of a group (max 70 words)

An Abstract (max 200 words)

Where appropriate, one image of your work (at least 2 to 4 MB)

One question related to issues of sustainability that interests you.

Three key words

If accepted: 1,500 words (max) paper

It is the intention that those papers that comply with our publishing guidelines will be published as conference proceedings.

Information for application to attend

Your biography – this can also be the biography of a group (max 35 words)

If applicable – a short description of your initiative (max 100 words)

One question related to issues of sustainability that interests you.

Three key words


Please send your abstracts by email to: sustainability@leeds-art.ac.uk

For more details visit the event webpage