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Foreword

The cultural sector is an incredible resource for action on climate change. This issue highlights so much important creativity. Much of what we each control is the “doing” of a thing, while most of what we must change to address climate change is the systems that cause it. I’m so very glad to see that much of what is in these pages is about creators taking alternative approaches, doing the things, that change systems. I’m also glad that the paper itself is willing to consider alternative approaches, such as using a QR code for this Foreword.

As CEO of a nonprofit that helps the museum sector respond to climate change, I see the tensions in my field, just as any other, of creating good yet creating harm. Think of museums’ exhibits and their carbon impacts, but then think of a world without this physical approach to sharing and discovery, beauty and engagement. Every year 850 million people visit the 35,000 museums, zoos, gardens, and historic sites in the US. Our guests learn about other people and cultures and practices, and about themselves. Throughout their lives those who are able to visit or go online for museum resources will learn about big ideas and be pushed or encouraged to discover new ones. But the sector is changing its exhibit practices, and how it cares for objects. As soon as we get the American Alliance of Museums to consider these practices part of museum accreditation, then we will have changed the system!

The creators showcased in this issue are taking alternative approaches that aren’t just about the doing - physical practices and impacts, but also about changing the systems. Those systems are design (3-D for clothing by Bodies In Motion, shared practice for Women In Practice), building (buildings and material reuse by Co-Adaptive), consumption (Air Company’s carbon negative perfumes and its own Air Vodka) and fueling cars (itselectric puts car-charging within view of the PV panels creating the power, reducing fuel access anxiety and encouraging a shift to electric cars), and socially repatriating land (Jordan Weber’s work to change how and who is present and welcome, and responsible for, land).

There’s a tension there between doing something forward-looking and adding burden to the planet. Yet without a carbon-free way of being, we each must decide where we leave our carbon impacts while also supporting fundamental shifts that lead others to reduce their impacts as well. For this Foreword, the QR code is my alternative approach, and I thank you for allowing me this path. This is a gorgeous publication that I too wish I were holding it in my hands, but for me, today, I choose not to. I love the feel of paper and the look of print; even my brain processes the written word better on paper than on the screen. Having my words appear here through the magic of a QR code rather than in print is a very tiny change given the scale of what is needed. But since it leads you to more resources, I hope the change is actually significant in other ways. As we test and try new solutions, we co-create a better future for us all. I know the printed words will also show you new and exciting paths for change and hope.

Sarah Sutton
CEO & Co-Founder, Environment & Climate Partners
info@ecprs.org

From the Editor

Sustainability. We hear the word in so many contexts—frequently as a buzzword—that it’s worth taking a step back to think about what the term actually means. In 1969, the National Environmental Policy Act defined sustainability as a national policy “to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” In other words, sustainability is about the synergy of its three “prongs”: ecology, economy, and society.

In terms of today’s usage, we often equate sustainability with just the first of these: ecology. In this issue of The Canvas, we want to expand the conversation to fully consider all three strands, and how they interact, as well as aspects of sustainability that did not yet exist when the word was first defined. The key questions this issue engages with are: How can we implement practices to make our businesses economically viable and financially sustainable? How can we create processes that minimize negative effects on the environment, or, even better, produce positive effects? How can we ensure that people who use our services or products--our employees, customers, suppliers, neighbors--are, broadly speaking, experiencing enhanced wellbeing as a result?

As Green demonstrates, if we want to create a measurably better future, there is another strand that must be added to the original three of ecology, economy, and society: innovation. The interviewees and contributors in this issue discuss how their work is not just about maintaining the status quo in terms of sustainability; they are also looking to disrupt processes, to question assumptions, and to think creatively about existing and future challenges. Together, across a wide variety of disciplines, these thought leaders apply this approach at a range of scales, from clothing to architecture. They look at things in our everyday spheres, like textiles, and engage in research and development on topics, like the elimination of combustion engines, that seem far away but are fast approaching.

The mission of The Canvas is to look at how various creative industries converge around a single concept. In this issue in particular, the goal is to expand the definition of sustainability. The breadth of fields represented in this issue—architecture, fashion, business development, and technology, to name just a few—allows the reader to encounter new ways of thinking about their own areas of expertise as well as ones they may not yet have encountered.

If we use the narrowest definition of sustainability, and think only of its relationship to ecology, we may feel hopeless in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. But when we expand the definition, you may be left, as I was, with the opposite feeling: hope. As Gregory Constantine and Dr. Stafford Sheehan of Air Company say in their piece on page 12, “We believe the impossible is, in fact, possible.” I hope that after reading this issue, you agree.


Taylor Loutsis

Table of Contents

art

  • Author

    Madeleine Le Cesne

    Chicago, IL

    Author

  • Fine Artist

    Calvin Kim

    New York, NY

    Fine Artist

  • Food Stylist

    Drew Aichele

    New York, NY

    Food Stylist

  • Photographer

    Chelsea Kyle

    New York, NY

    Photographer

  • Activist & Artist

    Jordan Weber

    Cambridge, MA

    Activist & Artist

architecture

  • Architecture

    Co Adaptive

    Brooklyn, NY

    Architecture

  • R&D

    Pearl

    New York, NY

    R&D

  • Architecture

    W.I.P

    New York, NY

    Architecture

business

  • Business Consultant

    Emily Cohen

    Philadelphia, PA

    Business Consultant

  • Economic Journalist

    Nihal Krishan

    Washington D.C.

    Economic Journalist

energy

  • Audiologist

    Dr. Grace

    New York, NY

    Audiologist

  • EV Charging Station

    It's Electric Inc.

    Brooklyn, NY

    EV Charging Station

fashion

  • Textile Producer

    Byborre

    Amsterdam, ND

    Textile Producer

  • Leather Goods

    Kozha Numbers

    Portland, OR

    Leather Goods

  • Activeware & Techno

    Running Order

    New York, NY

    Activeware & Techno

repurposing co2

  • Technology

    Air Company

    Brooklyn, NY

    Technology

brands of tomorrow

  • Investor & Strategist

    Nikita Walia

    Brooklyn, NY

    Investor & Strategist

Issue 2.0 Green

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About

The Canvas is a semiannual print and digital collection of editorials—a convergence of industries through a unified, singular concept per issue, ultimately driven to form community.

Submissions

Submissions are announced several months before the issue’s release date. Check Index for announcements.

Stockist

If you are a retailer and would like to carry The Canvas, contact Taylor at hello@the-canvas.org.

Credits

Editors

Marilena Morales-Newberry &
Erika Parsons

Design

Studio Loutsis

Web Development

STUDIO JVCKSON

Printing

Linco Printing Inc

Typography

Bean Sans, Medium; Gangster Grotesk, Regular; Terza, Regular; Terza, Regular Italic