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How Do We Start?Publication

Client: Project Arts Centre

How do you encompass the challenges of the climate emergency for the Arts & Culture, the impact it is going to have on the way we work and how can artists play a role in leading this conversation?

Commissioned by the Project Arts Centre, How Do We Start? explores how they as a cultural institution can approach a more sustainable way of existing in the world and how to support artists to lead the way by collaborating and bringing their dynamic skills to bear on the problem.

The publication was edited by Maeve Stone & Cian O’Brien, with contributions from; artists Kasia Kaminska, Shanna May Breen & Luke Casserly, Katie Holten and Kaajal Modi. The artists’s work explore the question ‘How Do We Start?’ in ways of practical instructions, poetry, speculations, image making, and language.

We were inspired by the pragmatic and instructional nature of the artist contributions to base the design on Make-and-Do-Books from our childhood. The aesthetic of these books with their bold colours and framed text and images became a starting point for the book. On the cover and on a postcard (printed on plantable paper stock with wild flower seeds), the question ‘How Do We Start?’ expands out into a maze from several directions and explores ways of answering itself. This theme was extended further in the promotional elements of the project.

A major challenge of the project was to justify the contradiction of producing an object that addresses the climate crisis. We talked directly with paper manufacturers and printers about how we could find ways to minimise the impact of production and waste by using plant based inks, recycled papers, available offcuts and how to minimise transport and deliveries. It was a great learning experience for us as designers of books that will inform the way we work in the future.

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Rachel Copley McQuillan & Stina Sandström

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