Close Of Play: Being Human Keynote
GSA Exhibitions/First Year Experience

Event Type:

Close of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action




20 Oct 2021
13:00 - 14:15



Nexus Architecture x 50 Köln
Lucy + George Orta

Close Of Play: Being Human Keynote

Event info

Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action

'Being Human' keynote: Professor Lucy Orta and Professor Ramia Mazé

1pm, 20 October 2021 – book online via Eventbrite

This Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action event is a talk with Professor Ramia Mazé (Professor in Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability at London College of Communication, University of the Arts) and Professor Lucy Orta (Chair of Art and the Environment, University of the Arts London). The event is hosted by GSA’s First Year Experience, and is in association with Climate Emergency Network (University of The Arts London). 

The chair is Katy West (First Year Experience). First Year Experience (FYE) brings together all of Year 1 students from the five schools at GSA. The theme of the FYE this year is the Anthropocene. How do we explore the impact 'Being Human' has on the environment around us? This event is the keynote.

There are an expanding range of ways to engage creatively with ecology and with transitions to more just and sustainable ways of living. Professor Ramia Mazé will discuss some examples of critical and participatory design approaches that provide opportunities to prototype and publicly deliberate radical alternatives.

In terms of ‘Being Human’, Professor Lucy Orta’s visual arts practice investigates the interrelations between the individual body and community structures, exploring their diverse identities and means of cohabitation. She will present on her project ‘Nexus Architecture’, and also refer to ‘Antarctica World Passport’, her collaboration with her partner the Argentine artist Jorge Orta (Studio Orta).



Professor Ramia Mazé is Professor of Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability at London College of Communication. She has been an editor of the leading scholarly journal Design Issues since 2016. Previously, in Finland, she was a professor and head of education in the Department of Design at Aalto University and, prior to that, she worked at Konstfack College of Arts, Crafts, and Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the national doctoral school Designfakulteten, and the Interactive Institute in Sweden. A designer and architect by training, her PhD is in interaction design. She has led, published, and exhibited widely through major interdisciplinary and international practice-based design research projects, most recently in social and sustainable design, design activism and design for policy. She specialises in participatory, critical and politically engaged design practices, as well as “research through design” and feminist epistemologies.

Professor Lucy Orta is Chair of Art and the Environment at University of the Arts London and a member of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. She uses the mediums of drawing, textile sculpture, photography, film and performance to realise singular bodies of work that include: 'Refuge Wear' and 'Body Architecture', portable and autonomous habitats that reflect on issues of mobility and human survival; 'Nexus Architecture', clothing and accessories that shape modular and collective bodies through the metaphor of the social link; and 'Life Guards', wearable structures that portray both human vulnerability and resilience. Her process of representing communities often incorporates co-creation methods, and she has collaborated with a wide range of people, often those on the margins of exclusion such as prison residents, asylum seekers, homeless and care hostel residents, to empower participants through creative practice.

Katy West first joined The Glasgow School of Art staff in 2008 and is currently First Year Experience Coordinator. She has experience as an Independent Curator specialising in craft and design. Her research is interdisciplinary with particular reference to vernacular craft traditions and contemporary culture. Her outputs include exhibitions, commissions, curated and touring projects. Concurrent to her teaching and curatorial practice Katy West is a ceramic designer working in collaboration with artisans and small scale manufacturers to produce functional objects imbued with reference to their ceramic histories.


The Glasgow School of Art’s yearlong series of online public talks, 'Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action’ explores the ways in which creative actions and multi-disciplinary practice can address climate emergency, sustainability, and climate justice. Each talk is hosted by a different part of GSA.