Public Art & Event Design: A Synthesis of Sustainability, Environmental Awareness, Beauty & Functionality

By Kerri Ainsworth.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines some of the ways contemporary creators of public art and design are
expressing their concerns for the environment, through their work. Artists and designers working in
this field come from a variety of creative disciplines and can include set designers, architects, lighting
designers and sculptors. They often work collaboratively across a number of disciplines, blending art,
activism and design, believing their creations help enrich the life and culture of a community and raise
awareness about social issues. These groups not only gather and share information; they are pooling
resources and integrating a range of technologies and processes, not normally associated with a specific
artistic pursuit. Artists and designers whose work and creative practice is consciously mindful
of its environmental impact will be analysed. The importance of their role as educators, using their
creations to build awareness and promote change in community attitudes, will also be discussed. And
how the boundaries between art and design are becoming increasingly blurred with the emergence of
an exciting and innovative new culture of cross-disciplinary creation. Case studies will be used to
demonstrate how installations combining art and technology, help build public awareness around the
question of sustainability by showing, in engaging and exciting ways, how clever low-energy technologies
and recycled materials can be used to create innovative art and design.

Keywords: Sustainable, Art, Design, Event Design, Public Art, Installation Art, Community Art, Environmental Art

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.121-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.529MB).

Kerri Ainsworth

Research Student - Masters of Design Honours, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Kerri Ainsworth is a Production Designer, Set and Environment Producer, Artist and Creative Director, whose work includes events, film, television, installations, and branded environments. Her projects have included designing the feature film, “Mr Accident,” art directing the “Deep Sea Dreaming” segment for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games and designing the interior of the International Film School Sydney. Kerri’s work as an installation artist explores the synthesis of sustainable technologies and recycled materials. Recently she completed a commission from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to produce a series of installations using sustainable practice, as a showcase for their conference, “Meeting the Challenge of Sustainable Development Through Events.” The installations were displayed on three separate occasions; at a function at the Museum of Contemporary Art, again at the city campus of UTS and finally at the conference in Queensland. She is a regular lecturer at several universities and design colleges in Sydney and is currently doing a Masters Degree in Design by research at the University of New South Wales.


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