Refreshments from 5pm
Event runs from 6 - 7:30pm
Trudie Ballantyne Meers, Photography - Editorial and Advertising Course Leader, and Michelle Williams, Product Design Course Leader, explore the environmental impact of plastics.
Since the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags the number being used has fallen by 85%. Micro beads are to be banned by end of 2017. Petitions for bans of plastic straws and tampon applicators are active. This is a positive start but there is a long way to go. We have now been officially classified as to be living in the geological Anthropocene epoch (started 1950), by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, geologists of the future will discover sedimentary layers of plastic and other markers of our industrial and consumerist society. Trudie and Michelle will discuss sustainable viable alternatives and the circular economy model, they will feature artists, organizations and designers who are bringing about social change and innovation with regard to plastic and how its waste is being regarded as being a valuable commodity.
Trudie is currently working on a personal photography project, ‘Ocean Edge’, some images from which were shortlisted and exhibited in the Environmental Photographer of the Year Awards at the Royal Geographical Society. Collecting plastic objects and fragments gathered around the coast of the UK, from straws, lighters, toys to tampon applicators, she returns to her studio to create large format still life images which she aims to create impact and prompt the viewer to consider their own everyday consumption and subsequent use and recycling of plastic items.
Michelle has been shortlisted as a team finalist in the Green Gown Awards, which she led and is an active researcher in Education for Sustainability. She is also an owner of a business with sustainable values at its core. Her research and collaboration with the Product Design students, Fashion, Interior and Landscape Architecture, the Sustainability Team (at the University of Gloucestershire), Vision 21 (a sustainable charity) and the Gloucestershire County Council Waste Team has created the ‘The Regeneration Project’. Young people, students and the community can bring products and clothing, including electronic devices, to learn to repair with qualified electricians and repairers, get involved with up-cycling clothes and become disruptive innovators.
Trudie Ballantyne is a University Teaching Fellow and has exhibited her photographs internationally. For the past nine years she taken Editorial &Advertising Photography students on highly successful trips to Shanghai, China and Vancouver working with other professionally orientated photographic courses supported by major international brands such as Superdry UK, Converse China, Specialized USA and Lululemon Canada. Her own research and practice is also receiving recognition and interest from photography awards and galleries.
Michelle Williams has worked in industry as a Project Leader and Product Designer, has a doctorate in design and has been an entrepreneur for 10 years. She has written and embedded sustainability into the Product Design Degree that she leads and has taken her students to Barcelona to learn about sustainable materials. She is dedicated to giving her students real-life experiences to create a design portfolio enabling them to become successful in the direction that they feel passionate about. For example, her students have designed a classroom for the British charity IT Schools Africa. Superdry have also set her students a design project and provided internships to gain an invaluable insight in branding and people’s lifestyle choices. Michelle also provides workshops on sustainable design for The Cheltenham Design Academy, to future creatives from secondary schools.