Design in a Sustainable Scotland at Dovecot Studios

Last Thursday, Dovecot Studios welcomed visitors to a discussion on Design in a Sustainable Scotland. The event was linked to their current exhibition Our Linen Stories which runs until the 25th of January 2020.

Moderator John Ennis started the evening by declaring that the aim of the event was to awaken thoughts of “those positive moves towards a sustainable Scotland”. Four experts from four different backgrounds were invited to give a short presentation about their field of interest, highlighting their work researching sustainability. This was followed by a discussion based on questions from the audience.

Among the evening’s speakers was Lynn Wilson, who stressed the importance of extracting the maximum potential out of the area of design regarding reusability and sustainability. One of the key terms she used, one which remained as an motif throughout the whole night, was “responsibility”.  Whether it is the designers, entrepreneurs, or consumers, all members of the design supply chain live in a time in which their actions are questioned, challenged, and tested every single day.

John Ferguson, a social entrepreneur, demonstrated during his talk that this concerns every single aspect of life; as he pointed out, the shift in production towards more sustainable goods has taken place in a variety of sectors already. However, he calls the construction sector “the last part of the puzzle” to be tackled, and his company produces insulation out of a natural fibre crop that will soon be the first plastic-free one of this kind on the market.

After the event, I still cannot stop thinking about one comment made by Ennis. He pointed out that the consequence of consuming cigarettes is depicted in the form of devastating and alarming pictures on the outside of the cigarette packets and asked whether we should put pictures of a black earth on the surface of the clothes that consumers buy.

Overall, the evening exemplified that every person should reflect on their own consumption tendencies and change them if necessary. As an individual, it is not possible to change anything, but when all the individual steps and projects are combined, people can achieve a long-lasting impact.

Image: Dovecot Studios

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