The Man Who Planted Trees was awarded the 2012 CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production and the 2007 Eco Prize for Creativity.
The company will share their experience of creating and touring the show, conscious how lightweight set design, reuse and recycling, low-impact lighting design, backstage chat at countless venues – plus the power of a great story – has helped them to be sustainable not only in environmental terms but also as individuals working together over the last 7 years.
After over 2 years of development, in November 2010 construction work finally began on our Identity exhibition, with the removal of the old occupier of the space – Station Pier: gateway to a new life. Station Pier had been in place since 2004 and had enjoyed immense popularity with visitors, especially those who arrived by ship in Melbourne at Station Pier.
One of the challenges to eco-exhibitions is to design and build for what is essentially a temporary interior building fixture. Inevitably this leads to excessive waste come the end of the exhibition. Station Pier was designed without the insights of the burgeoning eco-exhibition industry, so the challenge to the team was to dismantle the exhibition and create the least waste possible in doing so.
Pre-planning is key to this process, and the integration of processes into your normal project planning. The Identity designers Andrew and Gina embraced the philosophy of an eco-exhibition, and so it was agreed to use laminated glass from the bespoke Station Pier cases, in Identity. Currently, whilst the infrastructure for the new exhibition is being built, the glass is being stored safely until we need it. Once that happens, our glaziers will cut to size and re-fit into Identity.
The builders who won the contract quoted on the notion of our eco-principles, with requirements for reuse and recycling written into the Request for Quotation. Necessities such as de-nailing reusable timber and cutting salvageable pieces were allowed for, so no nasty financial consequences could pop up unexpectedly. Appropriate RFQ’s are a big part of the eco pre-planning process, and after creating a template it’s easy to accurately ask your contractors for the right thing and avoid any confusion as to what you need them to do.
Unfortunately, apart from the glass and some structural softwood timber, not much was able to be reused in terms of Station Pier’s built environment. Too much had been glued not screwed all those years ago. Most of the timber had to be destroyed just in liberating it from its structural supports.
However, one thing usually never able to be recycled or reused are exhibition graphics. Station Pier documents a rich history of migration around an iconic port in Melbourne – which still exists. Talks with the management at Station Pier indicate they are keen be the vehicle for the long-term reuse of the Station Pier graphic panels – of which there is at least 50kg. Hopefully the museum’s graphics will enjoy a long life providing information for Melbourne’s tourists.
Stay tuned for the build of Identity: yours mine ours. Meanwhile you can find out more about the exhibition development here.
the EcoMuseum, is a project of Carole Hammond, Exhibition Manager and museum professional: combining the complex ideologies of aesthetics, culture, objects, entertainment…and environment.
‘Junkitecture’ is a clever term, combining design and ‘waste’. But what if the materials used for buildings, for sets, for props, for puppets, for the vehicles and floats of parades, were thought of simply as ‘materials’? Of course, they would have a special value or feel if they had been used for something else. But to call them ‘junk’ is to share the attitude that separates the ‘new’ from what we think of as ‘waste’. What is happening with the use of materials in the arts that have a history can often be more of a valorisation of consumerism and excess, a celebration of trash as ‘trash’ or salvage, than a critique of waste or an affirmation of recycling.
What if no special claims could be made for using reclaimed or recycled materials because it was commonplace? Then, what would be remarked on would be the design, the space or object itself, and the qualities that the materials brought to it.
The Jellyfish Theatre building was enchanting for its design and for its transiency, a theatre space in a symbolic shape, assembled from what was to hand, played in, and then dispersed, the theatre becoming again the material that it was, maybe to be used again, having acquired another layer of history.
What is the next step after the Co-op? Where do resources go after the Austin Scenic Co-op [Collaboration between Salvage Vanguard and Rude Mechs] can no longer use them? I found inspiration this week from two community service volunteers that were helping me to organize the shed where we house the Austin Scenic Co-op stock. Community service volunteers are court appointed by the city of Austin to complete a certain number of hours with a local non-profit.
This week I worked with two young men to get rid of some of our stock that had not been used since it was donated. Most of these were odd shaped platforms that are very show specific and therefore not used readily by many people. We were hauling these out to the dumpster making way for a new batch of standard 4×8 platforms –by far our most popular item to loan out. To me these old platforms –some of which have not been touched by anyone for three years–were just trash, but the guys that were helping me out asked if they could use some of the lumber. They informed me that they had friends that would break down things like what I was throwing away. If they got the things for free they could turn just enough profit to make it worth their while.
This reminded me of an essay I read recently, “Ecology and Community” by physicist and systems theorist Fritjof Capra. In it he argues that communities should turn to ecosystems to learn how to be sustainable. Capra insists that lessons learned from ecosystems aren’t mere suggestions, but are laws for how communities must organize themselves. The laws of sustainability are “just as stringent as the laws of physics . . . If you go up to a high cliff and step off it, disregarding the laws of gravity, you will surely die. If we live in a community, disregarding the laws of sustainability as a community, we will just as surely die in the long run.”
Capra identifies five laws of sustainability: interdependence, recycling, partnership, flexibility, and diversity. I think the most fascinating argument he makes in the article is when he writes, “you can define an ecosystem as a community where there is no waste.”
In establishing the Austin Scenic Co-op we have been very concerned with getting donations–making sure people know about us so that they don’t throw away set pieces that others could use. We have been working to establish networks to recycle theatre companies’ sets and we still have a lot of work to do in this regard. Now that our stock is starting to grow we are encountering a new problem–one that I did not foresee. What is the next step in the network? What do we do with those things that aren’t useful anymore to theatre companies?
Now that we have to be more selective about what we can accept and are starting to have to cull some of our less useful stock we need to establish another link in the network. Another level of recycling. I am excited about establishing another partnership one that is interested in using lumber that we cannot. And getting closer to our goal of zero waste.
Here is an interesting story from Bandit Lites in Nashville. With the huge kick to “Go Green”, Bandit Lites has taken it one step further. While most companies are working on ways to develop and manufacturer low energy usage lighting fixtures, Bandit Lites is re-thinking their entire operation, starting with the logo. To help show that they are serious about the push to go green, Bandit Lites has changed the color of their logo and website to green. But it doesn’t stop their. They are also looking at their facilities as well and how to cut down on energy loss and waste as well as cutting back on printed materials and sorting for recycling.
But it doesn’t stop there, what about out on tour. Bandit Lites has been working with GRNlite to develop energy efficient and affordable LED fixtures. Below is a photo of the LEDs that Bandit and GRNlite have developed.
You can learn more about Bandit Lites GRNlites LED fixtures by visiting their web site at www.banditlites.com. So why is Bandit Lights pushing so hard to become much more energy efficient by December 2011? The same reason all of us need to look at our energy usage, to help keep our world here for many years to come.
Remember the good ole days — back when we only had one bin for trash? In retrospect, those days were actually more wasteful that good. We sent things to the landfill that might have nourished our yards, and buried them side-by-side with materials which should have been reclaimed and put back in the production chain.
Today, most of us have two bins: one for compost, and another for recycling. They’re great for reducing curbside trash. But not everything is suitable for one bin or the other.
We’ve rounded up thirty things people mistakenly try to compost or recycle. In the case of composting, we chose items generally avoided by experienced compost gurus. For recycling, we’ve picked things prohibited by most municipal sytems, or of limited use to commercial recyclers. Ready? To the bins!
The Repercussion Theatre company has been offering productions that are inherently green in Montreals parks for 20 years now. Since its shows, always the works of William Shakespeare, are presented outdoors in 15 different city parks they dont relay on climate control and heavy lighting like traditional indoor productions do. The company provides composting and recycling facilities if they dont already exist at their sites. Now Repercussion Theatre is using “Enviro100” recycled paper for its publications. The paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as forest friendly, is chlorine-free and manufactured using biogas energy.
via The greenest theatre in Montreal? Check out Repercussion Theatres Shakespeare in the Park – Green Life.
Think hardcore environmentalism requires living like a monk? Not if you ask Dave Chameides, a steadicam operator living in L.A. who collected all his trash for a year and blogged about the project. Dave created less trash in all of 2008 than an average American family throws out in a week. And more impressively, he achieved this eco-feat while drinking beer and eating potato chips.
“I didn’t want to change the way that I was living my life,” Dave says. “If I wanted to drink beer, I wasn’t going to say, well, I can’t find a way to drink beer without creating packaging, so therefore I’m not going to. Instead, what I’m going to do is look at the packaging in beer and pick the most ‘eco-friendly’ way to do it.”
via Eat chips, drink beer, save trash: One L.A. guy’s almost zero-waste year | green LA girl.