Environmental, Social, Relational
|16 October, 2007
Workshop November 12-16 2007 by invitation only
Lecture November 12 2007 at 6.00 pm open to all
Fabrica, the Benetton communication research center, continues its international workshop and lecture program. The new series starts with a prime event: award-winning communication designer Sophie Thomas, co-founder and creative director of thomas.matthews London will be at the institute from November 12th to 16th to lead an intensive cross-disciplinary workshop. In addition, Sophie Thomas will give a public lecture on November 12th on the recent work of thomas.matthews, UK’s leading sustainable design consultancy.
Environmental, Social, Relational, the title of this new program of research and education activities, is surly rooted in Fabrica’s heritage of cross-cultural creativity for social concern. Its precise definition however emerges directly from a recent debate pod between Fabrica’s researchers that had the specific objective to identify common interest platforms for future studies.
Environmental, social and relational themes are central to human ecology, an interdisciplinary field using holistic approaches in the search for harmony between people and their natural and created environment but mainly between people and their societies.
Along these lines Fabrica wants to investigate, experiment, catalyze, document and disseminate how contemporary communication, design and artistic expression can contribute to helping people solve problems and enhance human potential, within near and far environments.
The workshop series will bring to Fabrica international creatives from all fields of communication and science that in common have the desire to apply innovation to social improvement.
Sophie Thomas together with Fabrica’s researchers and a selection of external participants from the center’s global think-net will focus the 5-day workshop on design and sustainability, entitled 99 months (the time scientifically agreed to tipping point to combat climate change).
After completing an honors degree in graphic design at Central Saint Martins in 1995 Sophie went on to study a two-year Masters degree in communication design at the Royal College of Art. It was here that she met Kristine Matthews and began to collaborate on communication design projects, the first being an installation of a week’s worth of waste from the canteen and initiating a college wide recycling programme.
Following graduation Sophie went to work at The Body Shop design studio until 1998 when thomas.matthews was officially set up by the two partners. Since then the company has grown to be an award winning practice of ten people with a shared passion for bringing outstanding design and communication to important issues.
Over the past nine years, as a director and joint owner of thomas.matthews Sophie has led and delivered a vast array of projects across the world. These range from the highly acclaimed “No Shop” campaign for Friends of the Earth in 1997 to the £15 million interactive Space galleries for the Royal Observatory Greenwich which opened this Spring. thomas.matthews have completed in excess of 400 jobs over nine years for a very wide range of clients. The most enjoyable work has involved interesting collaborations with artists, architects and engineers.
Throughout the ten years of experience in the communication design industry Sophie has strived to practice a number of core principles and to make sure that they are instilled in those that work with thomas.matthews. These include working to a set of highly ethical and sustainable principles and bringing elements of humour and innovation into all the work.
The company has been featured in numerous books and publications and was listed as one of the 40 top international design practices headed by principals under 30 years old in 2000. The work has been featured recently in this April’s sustainable issue of Creative Review that highlighted our new mini- publication “ten ways design can combat climate change”.
In 2005 the company was selected by Japanese Esquire magazine as one of a handful of global companies producing original and thought-provoking work. Esquire dedicated the magazine to the subject of graphics as a weapon in the battle to promote ethical issues and thomas.matthews was given the front cover.
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