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Ecospheres of Ethical Production (virtual program)
November 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
What are some possibilities for ethical production that sustains our communities? What challenges do producers, both small scale crafts business, as well as larger corporations, face in producing goods with responsibility and sustainability in mind? Tune in to this one hour virtual panel discussion as we hear from both ends of the spectrum.
Pittsburgh-based small-craft-business Safran Everyday will share their journey as an environmentally and socially business and talk about their experiences with getting certified under the Monmade CBA – Green Leap program. The International Living Future Institute, a community of architects, designers, engineers and many others, who strive to create buildings for a healthier and greener world, will give their take on how providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. This conversation will be moderated by Justin Lin, the Exhibition Coordinator at Contemporary Craft.
This panel discussion is held in conjunction with Contemporary Craft’s current exhibition Climate Awakening: Crafting a Sustainable Future which offers a different perspective for engaging with the issue of climate change by critically examining its impact through the lens of art.
International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute’s mission is to cultivate a society that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. To do this, we envision a Living Future and show that it works better in practice and policy. The Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is needed to reconcile humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The Institute’s programs have shaped more than 55 million square-feet of real estate development across the United States and around the world. Learn more at http://www.living-future.org.
Benson Gabler, Vice President, Impact (he/him/his): As Vice President of Impact at the International Living Future Institute, Benson Gabler leads a department committed to inspire, support, and celebrate hundreds of organizations pursuing our programs and making a positive impact in the world. In this role, he oversees market adoption, customer experience, and certification integrity of ILFI’s transparency labels and certifications, including Declare and the Living Building Challenge. Benson has spent the past two decades studying and implementing different approaches to environmental management, including eight years directing the corporate sustainability program for The PNC Financial Services Group. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Yale University. He volunteers in the community as the Board President of Construction Junction, a non-profit building material reuse center that supports a circular economy and workforce development.
Safran Everyday is a woman owned Pittsburgh small business that makes powder coated steel home goods. We design and produce more sustainable products and sell them primarily in our online shops. We choose to work primarily with steel not just because we’re based in steel city, but because it’s recycled and extremely long lasting. Our products are simple, colorful basics that bring function to your home. We believe the everyday items you need around your house should also be the everyday items you WANT around your house. No one should have to choose between use or aesthetic, affordability or environmentally conscious goods. We wanted to make a world where you don’t have to choose.
Maia Leppo graduated from Tufts University in 2008 with a degree in Biology and Community Health. She received training in jewelry and metals from various craft schools, including Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pocosin Arts, Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and her Masters of Fine Art from SUNY New Paltz. She has participated in artist residencies at Arrowmont and Fallingwater and has taught around the country including Penland, Arrowmont, Pocosin, and Touchstone. She currently works out of her studio in the Brewhouse Association on the south side of Pittsburgh.
Keegan Van Gorder is Safran Everyday’s social media manager. Keegan heads a handful of things around Safran everyday like the newsletter, branding, content creation and assisting where needed. Keegan studied Sociology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC and has an interest in different craft mediums including weaving, ceramics and screen printing. Maia and Keegan met at Arrowmont School of Craft about ten years ago and have been a dynamic duo since. One thing Keegan loves about working with Safran Everyday is that they always find a way to work ping pong into their business meetings.