Overall Goal

The network aims to identify and share contemporary and innovative practices in teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of arts, design and visual culture education. The Thematic Network (TN) Arctic Sustainable Arts & Design (ASAD) seeks to:

  • Promote cooperation and collaboration between universities, institutions and communities focused on Northern, Arctic issues in the field of arts, design and visual culture.
  • Improve arts, design and visual culture education amongst the members of the University of the Arctic (UArctic).
  • Identify and share contemporary and innovative practices in teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of arts, design and visual culture education.

The TN consists of three Special Interest Groups (SIG):

  • Arctic Arts and Visual Culture Education (AAVCE)
  • Arctic Sustainable Design (Design)
  • Indigenous Art and Craft

The member institutions may participate in the network activities through one or both SIGs depending on their own interests.

Leader professor

SIG leaders:

Main Activities

To support the realization of the annual goals, ASAD will:

  • Host a biannual symposium on arts, design and visual culture education in the Arctic;
  • Support joint presentations at national and international seminars and congresses
  • Initiate collaborative workshops and seminars for students, teachers and researchers across the Arctic
  • Promote educational collaboration in the fields of arts, design, visual culture and craft education, for example through joint educational programmes
  • Instigate exhibitions, events and publications
  • Initiate and oversee joint research projects
  • Support the development of context-sensitive research methods and arts & design practices in the Arctic

Current and Planned Activities 

  • The ASAD Thematic Network will released a number of publications. See this page for the full list of previous and new ones. 
  • Relate North. Tradition and Innovation in Art and Design Education book (InSEA Publications) will be released in December 2020.¨
  • Online Symposium Relate North 2020  will be held in November 2020
  • Call for chapters for Relate North 2021 book will be open  in November 2021.
  • Arctic Art and Design sessions of IASSA X, Arctic Generation: Looking Back and Looking Forwards conference in Archangelsk, 15-19 June 2021.
  • Exhibition ARCTIC MAKES: Observations, Lessons and Solutions from the Geographic Periphery. of IASSA X, Arctic Generation: Looking Back and Looking Forwards conference in Archangelsk, 15-19 June 2021
  • Shifting Ground: Mapping Energy, Geographies and Communities in the North a research creation  project continues with  activities in Canada, Alaska and Finland. (funded by SSHRC) .Coordinated by  Emily Carr University.
  • Acting on the Margin – Arts as a Social Sculpture (AMASS) research project continues (funded by H2020). Coordinated by UoL.
  • Look more often to North project starts in September 2020. Partners form Russia, Norway and Finland. Coordinated by Archangelsk Art School (funded by Kolarctic).
  • Look more often to the North exhibition, June 2021, Vardö, Norway
  • Living in the Landscape (LiLa) Summer School 2021 will start in spring 2021
  • LiLa Summer School Exhibition will be in  May 2021. Venue UArctic Congress, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Living in the Landscape Catalog will be released in May 2021
  • The Potential of Art and Design for Renewable Economies in Northern Communities. Session in Uarctic Congress, Reykjavik, Iceland. May 2021
  • Relate North Symposium and Exhibition in  November 2021
  • ASAD network collaborate  with Canada Council for the Arts  towards the Third Arctic Arts Summit in Whitehorse Yukon, Canada 27 to 29, 2022

Past Activities

  • Exhibition  ARCTIC MAKES: Observations, Lessons and Solutions from the Geographic Periphery. The Arctic Design School, Urals State University of Architecture and Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia,  2020.
  • The Russian Scientific Journal Human culture and education published Relate North articles.  Syktyvkar State University of Russia. 2020
  • Arctic Arts Summit panel, side event of Arctic Frontiers, Power of Knowledge, 28-30 January 2020, Tromsø, Norway.
  • Arctic Arts Summit advisory board meeting, January, Tromsö, Norway, 2020
  • Symposium & Exhibition Relate North 2019: Tradition and Innovation in Art and Design Education, Syktyvkar, Komi Republic of Russia. November, 2019.
  • Master class – Relate North Syktyvkar, Russia , 2019
  • Relate North: Collaboration in  Art and Design Education book released in December 2019.
  • Arctic Art Summit 2019, Rovaniemi, Finland June 3–5, 2019. 
  • Arctic Arts Summit Workshop (BA, MA). Rovaniemi; Finland,  June 2019.
  • Fringe Exhibition, Arctic Art Summit 2019, Arktikum House, Rovaniemi 5.6.2019-11.8.2019.
  • Transactions and Impulsions Exhibition, Arctic Art Summit 2019, University Art Galleries, Rovaniemi 5.6.-15.6.2019. 
  • Arts in Arctic: Contemporary and historical perspectives book, released in the Arctic Art Summit in June 2019.
  • ASAD Panel: MAKING connections between art, research and education across the Circumpolar North, InSEA World Congress, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,  Canada, July 2019.
  • Arctic Design Cluster meeting, Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019
  • Poetic Peripheries exhibition, Port Pirie Regional Gallery, Australia
  • Pozhva Goes Off-road, 9-22.09.2019, Ural Centre for Design Development, Ekaterinburg, Russia
  • RELATE NORTH 2018: Collaborative Art, Design and Education symposium and exhibition, Nord University, Nesna campus, Norway. November 2018
  • New book Jokela, T. & Coutts, G. (Eds.) RELATE NORTH: Art and Design for Education and Sustainability published in December 2018.
  • New book Sinner, A., Irwin, R & Jokela, T. (Eds.) Visually Provoking: Dissertations in Art Education published in December 2018.
  • Living in the Landscape Summer School was held in the Komi Republic of Russia, May and September 2018.
  • Living in the Komi Landscape Exhibition was held in Syktyvkar Komi National Library and University Gallery 19 September to 7 October, 2018.
  • Arctic Circle Assembly 2018 19-21 October, 2019 Panel Discussion: The role of arts, culture and creative industries in building sustainablesocieties in the Arctic
  • Arctic Design Week, It’s time to think outside of the box. February 2018.
  • Circumpolar collaboration in art education and research. Round Table discussion at InSEA Congress 2018, Helsinki.
  • ASAD exhibition and participation in Uarctic Congress 2018 in Oulu, Finland.
  • ASAD partners Concordia University, British Columbia University and Lapland University collaborate in research project: Pedagogical turn. Art-based Education Research Network. Symposium and exhibition in Liverpool Tate Gallery, UK March 2018.
  • Participatory Art Intensive Course for Master students, Nesna, Norway November 2018. The Course arranged concurrent with the RELATE NORTH 2018 symposium.
  • Intensive course for BA and MA students in Kautokeino, Norway. In collaboration with University of Lapland and Sami University College. February 2018.
  • Winter art and architecture intensive course for MA students, Kittilä, Finland, November 2018. In collaboration with University of Lapland, Hokkaido University and ASAD partners.