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Sustainability, creativity and communication

This programme examines how the arts, imagination and creativity can help promote sustainability and wellbeing. We investigate the role of art, literature, theatre and other non-scientific forms of knowledge and communication (including embodied forms of knowledge and communication such as dance, sport and fashion) in sustainability debates and projects.

Programme aims

Landscape of trees within females head

​The creative dimension of this programme strives to identify, devise, curate and amplify innovative ways of inspiring people to live more sustainably.​

We will explore, through scholarly enquiry, how exactly these mediums make, or could make, significant contributions to contemporary environmental concerns. 

There are two main strands in this programme which, in turn, generate a symbiotic feedback loop. 

  1. Interdisciplinary research enquiries offer insights which can be applied to our creative outreach activities. 
  2. Research through practice allows assessment of the benefits and limitations of different artistic and communicative media.​

Research questions

Initial research questions include:

  • What is the role, or potential role, of aesthetics in the fashioning of images and accounts of sustainability?
  • What part can imagination and creativity play in generating, communicating and experiencing new visions of sustainable living?
  • What ecological lessons are encoded in the myths, folktales and practices of traditional or indigenous cultures around the world, and how should we translate those lessons into our own culture?
  • Equally, how can we translate the lessons of modern environmental science into terms that are persuasive for diverse cultures and communities, both locally and internationally?

Translation between languages, different discursive modes, sources of media (text, visual images, music, scenography, etc), and both scientific and non-scientific audiences are areas of focus for this programme. 

This programme aligns to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) SDG3, SDG6, SDG7, SDG12, SDG13 and SDG17.

The Institute has enabled us to make connections with scholars who share our interests across the University which we would not have made otherwise.

It has been extraordinary to discover the range of departments in which similar research is carried out. We are beginning to make plans for collaborative works across different fields and the Institute has been a catalyst for this.

Sustainability, creativity and communication