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Sustainable Design Group News Letter

News, 11 November 2020

Sustainable Design Group News Letter


Dear SBTD members,

The Sustainable Design Group, the SBTD’s working group on sustainable design practice, has been busy planning theatre design-relevant carbon literacy training, developing ideas for sustainable materials, and planning an East Midlands-focused event for Staging Places, along with various other events and initiatives. There’s plenty to get involved with and all members are welcome at all events, whether members of the working group or not.

Please also let us know if you’d like to join the working group. You can drop us a line at to find out more. And you can read about how the group started here.

Upcoming Events

19th Nov, 4:30-6:30pm –  Sustainable Design: East Midlands
As part of SBTD’s events programme for Staging Places at the National Centre for Craft and Design, we’ll be hosting a session on sustainability with an East Midlands focus. As well as providing an update on the working group, we’ll focus on practitioners and resources in the region. This includes a talk from Amy Nicholson about her work with Handmade Theatre followed by a short workshop session.
Link to be announced soon
30th Nov, 5-6:30pm – Sustainable Scenes Studio: Costume
Our next Sustainable Scenes Studio. These are our monthly meetings, open to SBTD members and guests. As well as being a chance to hear from our subgroups and discuss and upcoming issues, each one has a particular focus: this one will look at sustainability and costume.
Meeting ID: 964 6926 1001 Passcode: 173834
14th Dec, 5-6:30pm – Sustainable Scenes Studio: Future Skills
Our first Sustainable Scenes Studio of 2021 will focus on materials. We’ll be hearing from the materials subgroup, looking at what materials and resources are available, and looking ahead to our plan to start obtaining and testing samples.
Meeting ID: 964 6926 1001 Passcode: 173834
25th Jan, 5-6:30pm – Sustainable Scenes Studio: Materials
Our first Sustainable Scenes Studio of 2021 will focus on materials. We’ll be hearing from the material group, looking at what material and resources are available and looking ahead to our plan to start obtaining and testing samples.
Meeting ID: 964 6926 1001 Passcode: 173834

Tbilisi Biennale

On the 26th of November, members of the Sustainable Design Group, Hamish Muir, Hannah Harding and Blue Bradfield, presented at the artistic process symposium of the 2020 Tbilisi Biennale of Stage Design. The topic discussed was titled ‘A Green Design Parliament: Thinking, Talking, Learning, and Designing Sustainably with the Society of British Theatre Designers’. The presentation was about the establishment of the SBTD sustainable design group, how the group prospered during lockdown because members could easily meet online, the advantages and disadvantages of using an online platform as a medium to produce design work, and whether such a medium and circumstance questioned assumptions of what design work can be. The presentation resonated with an international audience, which restated the fact that climate change is an issue that affects us all.

Carbon Literacy Training

We are creating our own bespoke Carbon Literacy Training to help us develop legitimacy, confidence and knowledge as designers, and provide a jumping off point for practical individual and group actions to address the climate crisis in our practice and the wider industry. We would like to welcome more of you to take part in designing the course content, and potentially training to deliver the course in your own region. If you’re interested and can spare a few days over the coming months, please email us at with “carbon literacy training” in the subject line. Please let us know if you have a particular interest in:
  • Designing course content
  • Designing course materials (eg skilled on Microsoft Tasks/Powerpoint)
  • Education/workshop leading
  • Researching possible delivery platforms
  • Focusing on a specific UK region


Since we started in February of last year, we’ve been working alongside Ecostage, the designer-led initiative to place ecological thinking at the heart of creative practice. Ecostage recently had a successful crowdfunding campaign and, though it still needs a bit more, it has now raised enough to be able to go ahead with its new website. You can find out more at is running a survey which will also provide really useful data for us in the SBTD Sustainable Design group. It’s very quick to do – no more than 5 mins –  please fill it out: here’s the link.


Finally, we’re looking for samples of sustainable and innovative materials that we can get our hands on and test out. If you have any contacts for suppliers, please let us know!

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