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 two Special Interest Groups (SIG):

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

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 publicationsInitiate 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 has released a number of publications. See this page for the full list.
  • 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: Practicing Places will publish in December 2018
  • 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 will be 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
  • Living in the Landscape (LiLa), a summer School arranged in collaboration with TN NETESDA, University of Lapland, Syktyvkar University, UiT The Arctic University of Norway and Uppsala University in Syktyvkar, Russia, May 2018
  • Winter art and architecture intensive course for MA students, Kittilä, Finland. In collaboration with University of Lapland, Hokkaido University and ASAD partners
  • Preparation meeting for Arctic Art Summit to be held in Rovaniemi 2019

Past Activities

  • New publication: Relate North 2016: Culture, Community, Communication, January 2017
  • Art and Design session in ICASS IX 9th international congress on Arctic social sciences, Umeå Sweden, June 2017
  • Arctic Encounters Art Intensive Course for Master students, Rovaniemi, Finland, November 2017. The Course was arranged concurrent with the RELATE NORTH 2017 symposium
  • The Thematic Network’s joint doctor degree defense, doctor candidate Ásthildur Jónsdóttir; in collaboration with University of Iceland and University of Lapland
  • Our Arctic workshop for Master students in cooperation with University of Lapland and Nord University, Nesna Norway and Iceland Academy of the Arts, April 2017
  • Interwoven exhibition in Rovaniemi 22 February – 9 March, and in Nordic House Reykjavik 4 – 30 April 2017.
  • Arctic Design Week on Arctic transition - how do we improve living and business, and how can we be prepared for the change in the arcticFebruary 2017, Rovaniemi