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To preserve resources

Why social sustainability is so important.

A holistic view of sustainability encompasses various dimensions and treats social, ecological and economic aspects as integral and complementary. The social and planetary boundaries within which a life worth living and social coexistence can take place today and in the future are crucial.

The interest of the arts and design in social sustainability is not new. «Josef Beuys’s expanded concept of art»claimed that art could shape society. Later, human-centred design placed people and their needs at the heart of the design process. Today, participatory methods are increasingly dissolving the roles of artists, designers and society. They meet as equals within a shared thematic framework.

Social sustainability refers to a society’s ability to ensure social justice, equal opportunities and well-being in the long term and to provide its members with access to basic resources such as education, culture, food, health and decent living conditions. By addressing these issues, artists and designers can contribute to a responsible, liveable and creative future. Art thus occupies an important position vis-à-vis the natural sciences and the economy while also creating new fields of activity.

Our work at ZHdK’s Sustainability Dossier centres on several key concepts:

  • Care means caring for and being mindful of ourselves, others and the environment. It involves taking responsibility and ensuring the well-being of all living beings.
  • Regeneration refers to the need to restore and revitalize our resources and systems and find ways to regenerate our environment.
  • Resilience is the ability to cope with challenges and changes. In a rapidly evolving world, it is important to be resilient and adapt to new circumstances.
  • Sufficiency means living with less and consciously avoiding excess and waste. It encourages us to make conscious decisions and rethink our consumption habits.

For re-source | Sustainability in the Arts, this was the occasion to offer various activities centred around social sustainability: Fermentation to use microorganisms and storytelling to promote social interaction, a Garden Sunday that brought together art, nature, senses and health, and a repair workshop where people worked together to fix things that would otherwise have ended up in the bin. These activities focus less on tangible outcomes than on the methods, dialogue and insights that emerge from approaching such pressing issues from an artistic and creative perspective. The processes thereby initiated enable a new approach to social phenomena and encourage people to rethink existing approaches.

Zur vollständigen Meldung
[Translate to English:] Suppentopf. Foto: Isabela Gygax.
[Translate to English:] Suppentopf. Foto: Isabela Gygax.