Throughout the work within the GSA, ARC became aware that a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding carbon emissions was needed amongst creative practitioners.

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Counting Consciousness Exhibition – Photograph Jennifer Fraser

In October 2014 applications were invited, from Glasgow’s creative community including students from the Glasgow School of Art, to participate in ARC’s reSOURCE project. By inviting participants to join us in the reSOURCE process the team hoped:

“To facilitate creative practitioners to carbon cost an element of their practice and, to illuminate personal, social, environmental and resource based values which participants may hold.”

The process was designed in response to attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) at engaging creative practitioners on a deeper level than is possible with stand alone events.


Made up of four group meetings, drop-in support sessions, and one to one guidance, reSOURCE supported creatives on their individual journeys by applying a unique process of ‘carbon costing creative practice’ to already existing or already being made work.

Participants went on a journey of understanding within their own practices, and also made ripples, by seeking out information from manufacturers and suppliers they were directly in touch with.

While reSOURCE’s intention was to create a Carbon Calculator specific to artists and designers, the process itself was a research project. The project had to ‘actively respond to change’ as it became clear that some elements of the original concept would not be possible. It was an experimental process and the work therefore reported on, acts as a feasibility study for what needs to take place in order to make a specific creative Carbon Calculator possible.



By going through the motions of facilitating a mixed group of creative practitioners to carbon cost elements of their practice, ARC learnt what kinds of information were needed, and where there is a gap in data available. The team also observed how creative practitioners cope with the task of data collection and reflection on the materials they consume. reSOURCE laid foundations for which to build on for a future version of the process.

The carbon conversion factors used were taken from the DEFRA and Circular Ecology
databases and refer to Embodied Emissions of CO2e.

You can download the conversion tables used here.

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