APDGreen Conversations – Autumn 2023

In this Quarter’s update, multi-disciplinary designer Tobhiyah Stone Feller chats about her recent production at ATYP The Resistance and Imogen Ross adds loads of links and  information about upcoming sustainability,  carbon calculation and climate change seminars for both stage and screen peeps.

Things are really taking off around the globe in the Eco-Design and sustainability space! Last year’s The Gathering in October featured international advocates Tony Prince Tomety, William Abello, Blair Barnette and Merlin Ortner discussing solutions for environmental sustainability in screen. A panel of APDG members recently recounted their experiences, which you can access via the member portal.

Ecoscenography is again partnering with the Knowledge Exchange Platform at the upcoming Prague Quadrennial in June 2023 and providing workshops and seminars for registered participants across three days. Australia’s Dr Tanja Beer (Griffith) , Dr Tessa Rixon and Monique Roy (QUT) will be sharing space with Dr Ian Garrett (UOT, Canada).

The theme of PQ in 2023 is RARE; in the sense of unique and raw realities that artists create. PQ 2023 will present art springing out of ideas, materials, artistic approaches, and design practices that connect to the human level from within your environment, with its genius loci and unique situation.

For those interested in what the National Theatre of London has been doing in the sustainability space in the last year, using Paddy Dillon’s Theatre Green Book as their guide, check out this engaging short video they filmed about Making Theatre in the Climate Crisis

I highly recommend APDG members interested in sustainable design join the international Facebook group – FB Ecoscenography

Designers from all over the world are sharing ideas and discussing eco-design practices every day – it is agnostic in its approaches and broad in its definitions of design for performance – I have also set up a ‘Sustainable Materials’ group within this page for those of us researching new materials and technologies


There are some great online courses currently being provided by the Canadian Green Alliance. The CGA was founded in 2019 by Julia McLellan and Tess Benger as their response to the theatre industry’s structural lack of organized climate action. After years of having to leave their values at the door when entering arts organizations, they started to wonder what a national theatre community would need to feel like if they had the skills to embody their climate action in their artistic work.

Several Carbon Calculation courses are coming up in April and May that are free to attend. Check their website for more information and to register.

If you miss these, Sustainable Screens Australia [SSA] is launching a series of Carbon Calculation and Sustainability on Set training seminars from July. SSA was founded on a vision to change the climate of screen production in Australia through collaboration, education, tools and resources, with the goal of transforming the industry into one which integrates sustainability into everyday practices. As Australia commits to a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, the screen industry is expected to reduce its environmental impact along with all other industries.

According to SSA the local screen production industry contributes over $5.34b in value-add to the economy and over 31,000 full-time equivalent jobs, but SSA believes creating screen content should not be at the expense of the planet. With the Australian screen industry contributing a large ecological footprint, primarily through electricity and fuel consumption that lead to greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change, SSA is committed to addressing this by:

  • creating an online hub for best practice checklists and toolkits,
  • industry specific carbon literacy training,
  • a vendor/services database,
  • bespoke carbon footprint calculator, and
  • social impact partnerships to support our local screen industry in establishing a standardised approach to sustainable production.

Ultimately, SSA’s goal is to create a behavioural shift across the industry towards more environmentally responsible practices that align with science-based targets.

Hooray! Sign up here for more information: https://www.sustainablescreens.au/


Australian designer and academic Dr Tanja Beer book Ecoscenography: an introduction to ecological design for performance (2021) was launched in mid-August 2022 at the World Stage Design conference in Calgary. This ground-breaking book is the first to bring an ecological focus to theatre and performance design, both in scholarship and in practice.

The publishers Palgrave are currently offering a 40% discount via their website to celebrate Ecoscenography’s Best Publication Award shortlist at Prague Quadrennial 2023!

Available here: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-16-7178-4…

40% discount until 31 March, use code HIGHLIGHTS22

Coming Soon

The webpage SHIFTIT.no is a new digital marketplace for used materials and equipment in Performance Art. It was launched for use in the Nordic Countries on the 21st March. It is a trial system to set up digital lending libraries of sets, costumes and props. We have much to gain from learning how to do this here in Australia!

Here is more info about the project: https://www.syvmil.no/shiftit?lang=en

 Tools and Resources

As always, I also highly recommend that APDG designers bookmark the useful Resources page on the Centre for Sustainable Practice’s web page to keep up to date with the latest green guides, carbon calculators and sustainability in film, TV and live performance websites that are being developed. The CSPA website is updated regularly and has the most accessible list of international sustainability tools I have yet found.

There is always so much more to the green conversation

If you are interested in adding your professional design voice and suggestions to an APDG Sustainability Protocols group or promoting green initiatives in future Green Conversations, please send an email to Imogen Ross at apdgreenconversations@gmail.com or contact Rebecca Whittington at rebecca.whittington@apdg.org.au to offer assistance and find out more.