HAND / HEART / HEAD: Aesthetic practice pedagogy for deep sustainability learning


Workshop participants and their works


Organization: David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (Paul Shrivastava, Kim Poldner, Vera Ivanaj)


Year created: 2011 – 2013

Location: Canada, France

Materials: Various art supplies.

What is the piece’s impact? Lead to the development and execution of several 4-6 hour workshops, where participants are divided into smaller groups and are asked to paint a metaphor to explain a specific question related to sustainability. Each group then shared their work with the other groups, all of whom spend time interpreting the various pieces. After this exercise, groups are encouraged to expand and refine the metaphor, and then apply this to reality by looking for solutions to the challenges proposed. Once all together, action items are discussed and then a final group painting is executed, collectively depicting a future vision of the problem.

How does this project relate to this change as art?The goal of aesthetic practice pedagogy is to evoke deep personal, emotional understanding and commitment to action” (source). The use of symbols and metaphors allowed participants to learn the fundamental complexity of questions related to sustainability. Moreover, the group work allowed them to understand the issue from a variety of perspectives. Finally, “through artistic expression, they learned to move in the same direction simultaneously towards the creation of a shared vision. The satisfaction of the desire to be part of the group contributed to build trust and created cohesion between the members of the group.” (source)

What makes this an artistic project? Lead by an artist and leads to the creation of unique pieces of art.

Other projects by the same organization:

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