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Mona Kastell [She/Her]

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Education/Training

BA (Hns) Theatre Design, Croydon College; MA Ecological Design Thinking, Schumacher College

Interests

Ecoscenography, Design

Location

UK/Scotland

Can you tell us something about yourself?

A leader in the emerging paradigm of Ecoscenography, Mona is a designer/maker with a strong interest in social and ecological conscious design. Using the notions of Permaculture and ecological systems in her work, Mona offers holistic concepts for the visual arts. Her work with sustainable practice and research aims to engage and empower whole people to contribute to a healthy society and our planet. She places Nature, interactivity and authentic community engagement at the heart of her creative process, using natural materials and found objects.

What was the turning point when you became ecologically aware and decided to take action?

I think I’ve always been ecologically minded. Even as a child, intuitively, I remember making furniture for my dolls with all the cardboard boxes I could find. That followed into my work, creating with what’s available on hand and reducing waste to a minimum. Creating zero waste work inspires us to see scenography with new eyes, shifting our awareness from single use to circular design.

My turning point, when I decided to take a proper stand on ecological issues, was when I saw how people were treated unfairly in the industry, with no regard to wellbeing, linked to living wages, deadlines, and being expected to perform at such a high level without any security nor proper understanding from the admins on projects. Over the years, this unfortunately led to a nervous breakdown for myself as well as many other colleagues. This way of working was not sustainable for people, nor for the planet.

There were times when I wasn’t being taken seriously about ecological issues. That’s when I decided to further my education to reflect on the reasons why I was making work and educate myself on what more I could do. Valuing Nature as a prime collaborator is high on my philosophy of life, which I merge within my creative practice. It helped me become more and more aware of the interconnectedness of things: people, animals, body, soul, energies, the whole ecosystem; just everything.

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