Sustainable Futures Part 1: Do It Yourself
Oct 28 2022
DesignTO projectevent: talk online

Click here to see the talk

Please join DesignTO for the 2022 series of ‘In Conversation’. This panel talk on sustainable futures brings together three creatives who are also educators: Anna Schlimm, Khalil Jamal, and Melanie Billark. Together they discuss sustainable futures from the perspective of do it yourself (DIY), touching on topics such as the agency of the individual, acting and making responsibly, skill sharing and community building, co-creation, open source models, and speculative design.


Anna Schlimm is a creative and academic based in London. Their work takes many forms, including visual design, writing, performance, experimental games, and co-creation. These varied formats are united by an interest in counter cultural practices and transformative experience. At DesignTO, they will share thoughts on creating new (w)holes using their mending practice as a starting point – a philosophy and practice that takes breakdown and decay, rather than novelty and innovation, as starting points for sustainable and regenerative ways of life. They teach in the MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures program at University of the Arts London.

Khalil Jamal is an industrial designer with experience in public art and architectural products. He experiments with new and old materials and fabrication processes to create housewares, hardware, and installations that are vibrant, playful, and multifunctional. His approach centres on providing people with the opportunity to customize their furnishings and fixtures so they develop meaningful relationships with objects and ultimately, create enduring value and confront disposable product culture. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at Towards Gallery (Toronto), Design at Riverside (Cambridge, Ontario), and Industry City (Brooklyn, New York). Based in Toronto, Khalil is an instructor at Sheridan College where he teaches ethics and values in industrial design, focusing on sustainable materials and manufacturing, consumption culture, and speculative design.

Melanie Billark is an emerging, multidisciplinary, Toronto based artist, educator, and public activator. Her work addresses social and political issues that concern her and affect principles of ecology, and strives to create awareness of environmental issues within the public sphere and urban environment. Melanie holds an Advanced Diploma in Craft and Design from Sheridan College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University in Sculpture and Installation. Melanie’s work has been shown in galleries, artist-run spaces, public spaces, and festivals across Canada and the U.S. including spaces such as the Canadian Sculpture Centre, Pearson International Airport, Treefort Music Fest, and Luminato Festival. Melanie has won a number of bursaries and awards for her work including the Climate Arts Award in 2019, OALA Ground Award in 2016, and Masonic Foundation of Canada Bursary in 2011.

In Conversation

Spotlighting artists and designers from Canada and the UK, DesignTO in partnership with University of the Arts London (UAL) and OCAD University presents an online series called ‘In Conversation’. As the title suggests, faculty, students and alumni from UAL and OCAD will be in conversation with each other and industry experts to discuss contemporary issues, research and creation in design.

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Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Robyn Wilcox
For projects with auditory components (e.g. talks, film screenings, tours), will there be sign-language interpretation, captioning, and/or live audio description?
The recording will have automatically generated captions.