SPARK #12: Decarbonise Your House (or studio) NOW!

10 June 2023 / 11-1

SPARK #12 is an twelfth in person meeting for Greater Manchester/North West-based artists who want to intervene in the trajectory towards climate breakdown, and is an opportunity to meet other artists and to share information and ideas.

Saturday 10th June 2023

Register at for Decarbonise Your House (or studio) NOW! with architecture practice Editional Studio

This session at Editional Studio in Chorlton will include a tour of exhibition models, material samples, posters and guides that outline how we can reduce the environmental impact of the buildings that we live and work in and the creative potential of how it might be done. In the session, we’ll look at items which relate to arts practice in terms of using waste streams, considering the wider processes of extraction and how we might shift to using materials that restore nature and are healthier for ourselves. We will also consider how artist spaces (e.g. artist studios which are typically in cold and expensive to heat) might be upgraded to improve their energy efficiency, and keep us warm and healthy.

49% of UK carbon emissions are attributed to buildings. To put this into context, we have the poorest performing building stock in Europe and with 80% of the buildings that exist today expected to remain in 2050 there is little alternative but to act. We must each take action to change the amount of energy our buildings consume if we are to stop uncontrollable climate change. By 2050, all our buildings must be net carbon zero.

The good news is that we already know how to reduce the energy consumption of our current poorly-performing building stock by 75%. With highly insulated buildings, the remaining 25% of the energy needed to heat and run our homes can be produced through renewable sources like Heat Pumps in order to reach Net Zero Carbon.

Achieving this requires a step-change in how we work, invest, extend and renovate. There is untapped creative potential in how we adapt and upgrade our spaces; improving our built environment and well-being, adding character and using beautiful natural materials. We need to move beyond sustainable design, where we minimise the negative impact of construction, to regenerative design, where our activities restore, renew and revitalise natural systems.

Editional Studio, run by architects Jo Sharples and Jack Richards, is a Manchester-based architecture studio that celebrates sustainable, considered design. They work from their high-street shop in Chorlton, promoting approachable and useful design directly to the community.

Jo is an accredited Passive House Designer which allows Editional to design and model buildings to use around 75% less energy than standard new buildings. Jack is a certified Retrofit Coordinator, looking holistically at buildings to improve the performance of the existing fabric and ensure efficient energy use. Editional Studio aim to re-use built fabric wherever possible and use natural, local materials with low embodied carbon.

SPARK #12 is kindly supported by Editional Studio and Castlefield Gallery

SPARK #12 follows on from Castlefield Gallery’s SUSTAIN programme focussed on low carbon artmaking and from our first eleven SPARK sessions at Manchester Art Gallery, Rogue, The Birley (Preston), Eccles Friends Meeting House, Manchester Museum, AIR Gallery and Paradise Works. The SPARK sessions are intended to help seed a new Greater Manchester/North West-based network of artists with low carbon practices.

Image credits

1. Image of carbonised paper – Linnaea Mallette , used under a CC0 Public Domain license

2. The House for a Denialist , The House for a Realist and The House for Now! on display in Editional Studio. photo by Editional Studio

3. Decarbonise Your House NOW! poster by Editional Studio