Session Notes


*Here are the notes from the Materials + Labour Open Space conversation:

– How to incorporate ecological principles in your studio culture as well as when resourcing projects
– Can you get A1 biodegradable mount board?
– Eliminating oil-based + harmful solvents from the studio: list of non-ecological products [zip kicker, resin…]
– Developing an aesthetic for model making without the use of non-biodegradable or recyclable materials
– Do these decisions make a difference? Developing + working from your own values.
– Contact local ecological networks when making work in new places or touring, to connect to local recycled/recyclable materials supplies

Design Labour Materials

* A photographic record from our Open Space question:  Venues, festivals, rehearsal spaces with green agenda?



Part 1        

Part 2

*Part 1ii: Questions following Dan & Rachel’s Presentation

How do the generators work?
– You slot your bike into a stand, where the back wheel is off the ground and
can therefore power a motor. The motor is plugged into an energy smoothing
system and then into an inverter in order to power mains equipment. See
more info and also Magnificent Revolution are holding a workshop on 19th
May on how to build.
– Electric Pedals – also do bike powered stuff but slightly more corporate.
Were audiences aware that this was a bike powered show?
Audiences tended to become aware of this gradually as the show progressed
How was touring?
The difficulty with touring was having very little time to develop an audience base
therefore we used Twitter to tap into bicycle networks etc.
How about funding?
The challenge was measuring how much the show has changed people’s minds.
This year we are running a whole series of workshops/lesson plans/post show
events alongside the show for schools and we have found this very helpful for getting
funding (eg, with Citybridge, more specific environmental agenda).
Did Julie’s Bicycle suggest ways to make your production greener?
They were on the end of an email and there is so much information on website.
Now also since they have been working with ACE and RFO’s there are several case
studies too. If one has specific questions and the answers are not on the website
JB are happy to answer questions over the phone and it is worth going to the many
events they run throughout the year.
Battery in gym – why aren’t people doing this?
Massive outlay that you would not recoup for ages in the short term. Unless we
become a communist country would not work as a business model.
How about the materials for your next show?
We have decided to buy the battery materials and sell machines or rent them at the
Part II: List of Useful Organisations
Arcola Energy: information on the Arcola’s vision of a ‘carbon-neutral’ theatre
as well as practical steps for improving practice
(Useful to note: Shows with 5kw budget – how they impact – blog)
Any Junk: household and business clearance with more than 70% reused or
Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety: a US not-for-profit corporation that provides
health and safety advice on materials:
Ashden Directory: directory of companies, feature articles
and blog on bringing together environment and performing
(Useful to note: Feature conferences. Awards. Wallace Heim writes the
website and writes a lot about performance and ecology – open to point in a
good direction)
Association of British Theatre Technicians:
Battboxes: commercial battery recycling scheme for
Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts: a US-based
organisation providing a network of resources and
(Relevant here: They do a fringe award in Edinburgh – sustainability award
– apply for the award. The Man Who Planted Trees won last year. They
kindly repost mentions. They have a quarterly magazine with very interesting
ecology stuff)
The Carbon Trust’s mission is to accelerate the move to a low carbon
economy and develop commercial low carbon technologies. Site includes
carbon footprint
Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts: a centre within CAL
(Recommended if you’re trying to do your office)
Community RePaint passes unwanted paint onto community
Envirowise offers free, independent support and audits to businesses aiming
to become more resource efficient and save money.
Freecycle matches people who have things they no longer want with people
who can use them.
Greening Theatre: a new UK group for theatre professionals interested
in tackling climate change, in response to the Green Theatre
(N.B. Folded into JB. Interesting data – most emissions come from climate
control and front of house)
Green Procurement Code: a free support service for London-based
organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact through
Green Theater Intiative: a US-based website to inspire theatres to incorporate
environmental concerns in their planning and operations and aid them in
(N.B. Possibly not active?)
Julie’s Bicycle: a not-for-profit company helping the music industry
cut its greenhouse gas emissions and create a low carbon creative
(N.B. Started greening the music industry (cardboard cases from CD cases),
now incorporating theatre and festivals. Industry green tool on their website
– measure everything about a production. Whole section about your office
as well. Free to use. Green Theatre Network – great to attend eg, General
Manager for AFTER MISS JULIE did a talk about decision made etc (+ lovely
snacks and drinks!). Associated with Robin at ROH – lighting designers –
what could I do? Online social network (ning!). Interesting case study of
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER – reused materials – transferred budget
to hiring more ASMs – providing more employment than materials. Focus
onto the labour.
London Remade: a not-for-profit business working in partnership to develop
and improve waste management, recycling and green procurement in London
Mayor of London’s Green Theatre Programme:
Scenery Salvage remove scenery from studios or locations to a reclamation
centre. Useful set pieces such as doors, windows, castors etc are catalogued
and put on the Salvage Stock List for resale to the industry. The remaining
scenery is separated into its constituent materials i.e. timber, metal and
plastics, and sent for
(Eg, Central School for Speech and Drama – nothing goes into the bin.)
(N.B. Slight issue with distance – a lot travel to get what you need.
The Theatres Trust: A society established to promote the protection of
theatres within the United Kingdom.
(Buildings, ecovenue (finished) thermocamera at leaky pub venues to help
reduce emissions.)
TippingPoint aims to ‘harness the power of the imagination to help stabilise
the climate’ with dialogue between artists, scientists and others close to the
heart of the
(Conference yearly – ACE – in Newcastle – top scientists and artists. Without
Walls – Tipping Point Award?)
WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) works with local
authorities, business and households to prevent waste, increase recycling
and develop markets for recycled and sustainable products
White Light, the lighting hire and supply company, produces a useful green
guide that can be downloaded from their website
(Craig Bennett – happy to share expertise. Retro fitting old lights. Unless
permanently attached to a space difficult but great for lighting designers.)
Magnificent Revolution –
Bicycle generators – shareable bicycle generator in the making.
Scrap store in Bristol – shopping trolly (£14 and can put anything in it)
Also a place like this in London!!! TBC (somewhere in East London!)
Pulse Festival in Ipswich – Suitcase prize – programmed by China Plate.
Keep an eye on where that goes next
Case for Optimism – Lucy Neil (founded LIFT) – arts presenting vision of
positive future rather than technical end. Zero Carbon Britain – how the arts
can give people that vision.
Edinburgh – Harry Giles is responsible for Environment & Sustainability –
sustainability agenda – really nice guy!
Cape Farewell – send artists (based at
Southbank Centre) using culture.
Artists Project Earth (APE)
Lush – very supportive and help with raffle prizes for fundraisers etc.
Ideastap – Green Fund.
Arts Admin – 2 degrees festival. Festival of climate change in the arts.
Dark Mountain Festivals – quite dark but very interesting
Wellcome Trust with Esmee Fairbairn – sustainability strand – ABOVE ME
THE WIDE BLUE SKY. Arts and science collaborations – tacit sustainability
The Dake Award – Environmental Awards.
Transition town led network. Map of local area. Knowledge shared.
Next session:
John Pickering eco-psychologist to talk
Open Space session otherwise
Other business:
Green and Pleasant Land go and see it!
Re:Think event 10-2pm Friday on
10-2pm on Friday (part of Re:Think)


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