While the goals of sustainability are often predicated around environmental issues (including, but not limited to global warming, climate change, resource extraction), it is imperative to understand the deeper implications that inflect upon diverse populations including Indigenous, refugee, and other racialized communities. Melting polar caps, deforestation in the Amazon, massive hydroelectric dam constructions in densely populated regions, ongoing displacement of Indigenous communities, and rampant inequities highlighted by the current pandemic, all of these are indelibly pertinent in the contexts of diversity and sustainability. The intention of this gathering is to provide opportunities for AICAD members to plumb the depths of these issues in order to delineate how art and design can assist and provide guidance as we imagine a more productively equitable future.
Must Give Us Pause: Diversity + Sustainability, seeks to reflect upon and investigate our collective values, pedagogies, research, challenges, and potential visions -- as artists, designers, curators, and critical thinkers -- that will provide guidance as we forge a path forward that is inclusive and attentive to some of the most pressing issues of our day. As Sharon Mattern recently wrote, the pandemic has resulted in "The Great Pause," one which saw some retreating to the safety of the domestic sphere while others were forced into harm's way. However, "It is all too easy to overlook the activity that enables privileged retreat; the Othered precarity that ensures our security."