Future Canvas Reforestation Future Canvas

Future Canvas is a global web of projects and ideas that spark people to live sustainably everyday. Future Canvas seeks to bring about environmental sustainability and social connectedness through supporting, developing, and implementing a diverse range of creative, innovative and exciting projects. Bindarri speaks to Emily Ballantyne-Brodie and Jo Szczepanska.

Where is future canvas at in the organisations life at the present and what have been the highlights.

Future Canvas was established in July 2007. We have been a very active organisation in this time. Our highlights have been a public forum called FutureLab where people came together, collaborate and design projects to work towards Melbourne becoming a sustainable city. We held this with Future Melbourne and Melbourne City Council. We have researched on subject areas of urban agriculture, social and community design overseas, particularly in Milan and New York.

We have found a home in the Docklands which will be a creative hub as well as a place for us to construct and design our community garden. We have started to create short films at the Open Channel space which advocate sustainable lifestyles. We hope to create more exciting media in the Future. Our current 'major' project is called Reforestation. We have just been granted money to begin construction.


Future Canvas Shed 4 Docklands

How did you score a massive shed on prime waterfront realestate in the docklands for community arts projects?

We were on a look-out and this property just appeared out of the sky! Well...nearly - we had previously worked with the artist Phil Hall who was working at Shed 4 at the time and he introduced us to Martin the director of Open Channel who was interested in Future Canvas creating our garden. So we came to an agreement to use the space.

What strategies does future canvas have to create and/or foster local creative communities to achieve sustainability.

Quite simple;

  1. Advocacy for sustainability - multimedia projects,
  2. Action for sustainability; creating the garden, holding events providing a place for people can collaborate, inspire people to design their everyday towards sustainability through workshops and events at the space i.e. the up and coming Blitz day.

This urban agriculture project is designed to educate and inspire people from all walks of life to become more connected to their food supply and to actively green their city. The Reforestation projects aims to create an urban farming network in Metropolitan Melbourne to secure our food supply and in turn create an interconnected community that is resilient for the future sustainability challenges for our city.

The community garden forms a part of a broader Reforestation campaign to promote sustainable agriculture using new media (such as you tube videos, blogs and live streaming web cams) and a national awareness campaign to be launched in September 2009. This campaign will also encompass real time workshops on sustainable gardening practices.

What is the best way for people to get involved in future canvas and do you need any skills or backgrounds.

People can volunteer for the Reforestation project, help to create media, participate in events, write articles and share their ideas on sustainable living on our blogs. People can also spread the word and just simply live sustainably everyday! So, there are many different ways to get involved.

Anyone from any skill set, background, or experience level is more than welcome to join in. The whole concept of reforestation is for us all to learn together and work towards a positive and collaborative space at the Docklands.

There will be workshops and skill sharing available for those wishing to learn a new skill, from permiculture principles to cookery or arts and crafts. Reforestation is a hands on, volunteer based project. So hopefully as well as learning something new, and getting a bit sweaty and dirty, participants will get some additional benefits like new friendships, feeling engaged and improved health (Vitamin G).

Future Canvas Sustainable Living Festival
Get Down and Dirty paint the town green

What are future canvas plans for this year?

Create the beautiful garden in the Docklands, create more exciting media advocating sustainable lifestyles, collaborate with other sustainability community organisations, develop Future Canvas overseas and have fun in the process!

Getting the Reforestation project up and running is the primary focus of Future Canvas this year. The site of the first of a series of community gardens will be a 5m x 50m waterfront space in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.

Currently we are organising our Future Canvas space Launch on the 8th of May, 8-12PM at Shed 4, Docklands. Which will be a great opportunity to see the space, meet the team and have a bit of fun. The night will feature...

Entry is $12 and you get a drinks and food for the night.

On Sunday the 17th of May there will be a Garden and Space Blitz being held at the Future Canvas HQ to help kick-start our Reforestation Project. Future Canvas' Reforestation Project involves creating a community garden in the Docklands on a 350 square metre space! The project aims to promote and advance urban agriculture in Metropolitan Melbourne. 

During the Garden and Space Blitz we will be designing and creating the beginnings of the community garden. Additionally, there will be opportunities to learn all sorts of sustainable day-to-day skills from permaculture, composting, clothes swapping, making bike trailers, painting canvas' and designing furniture from waste materials.

These 2 days are the beginning of an exciting movement not to be missed! Please make sure you RSVP so we know how many to cater for, so we can avoid waste.

Plenty more activities to come.

Future Canvas

Who are the most exciting people or groups future canvas is working with or would like to collaborate with in Australia.

Australia - o2 Austarlia, Permablitz, David Holmgren (founder of Permaculture), Thread Den, Emu Concepts, Pecha Kucha, Open Channel - basically any creative community who is working towards sustainability.

Internationally - Sustainable Everyday -Milan, Esterni - Milan, Design 21 - New York, Social Design Site - Berlin, and in terms of people Barrack Obama!!


Emily Ballantyne-Brodie

Jo Szczepanska

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