Our Approach to Sustainability

One of the focuses of TCAF lies on the impact of art in sustainable development and in sustainability. Our aim is to replicate existing studies in order to establish causality and maximise impact.

1) Environment
Although TCAF recognises the traditional understanding of sustainability, which mainly stresses its environmental dimension, we share a broader understanding of the term and see art as playing a major role in shifting the paradigm in how humans regard nature and consumption. Understanding how art can foster this transition is our first R&D goal on this topic.

2) Culture and Development
The role of culture in sustainability is also explained by the need to move towards a more inclusive mode of economic and social organisation that respects the environment. Art may encourage us to consider what it means to be part of a collective – our second R&D goal is to understand how this impact can be best delivered.

3) Social Cohesion
Additionally, TCAF recognises the positive effect of artistic projects in strengthening community ties. However, detailed studies of this effect are limited – rather, understanding the impact of art in social cohesion requires immersive, long-term projects and analyses. Developing such studies is our third R&D goal on this topic.

4) Art and the City
TCAF believes that the use of art in urban renovation must be rethought.  For example, we must reconsider notions such as arts marketing and cultural tourism as key in urban regeneration and pay more attention to the positive contribution of art in community development projects. Understanding and unleashing the latter is our fourth R&D goal.

© Roger Alarcon for TCAF

Ongoing projects

Coming soon

Previous events

As part of our commitment to better understanding the relations between art and sustainability and unleash the transformative power of art in this regard, TCAF has organised and participated in several events.

In 2015, the first of TACF’s The Art of Conversation supper series took place at Global Generation’s Skip Garden in London. In this urban regeneration initiative near Kings Cross, a previous building site was flattened and replaced with a self-sustaining garden whose fresh produce also serves the on-site vegetarian kitchen (see blog post and photographs below).

© Roger Alarcon for TCAF

© Roger Alarcon for TCAF

Since 2015, TCAF has been a member of Culture Action Europe and attended its gatherings and meetings, namely on sustainable development.

Additionally, TCAF has commissioned reflection pieces for its blog on the relation between art and sustainability, namely a piece on street art as a form of public engagement (read it here; and see image below – Joshua Allen Harris’ Inflatable installations, New York). This reflection continues a presentation by Graham Henderson as part of TCAF’s 2013 Residency in Lagamas, which focused on poetry organisations and other arts charities as civil society building projects – read it here.


Photographer: Joshua Allen Harris, All Rights Reserved

To discuss a potential collaboration, email Marianne Magnin, our chair of the board, or Mafalda Dâmaso, our R&D Manager.

Header image © Roger Alarcon for TCAF