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Arlene Birt – Artist in Residence

MEDEA has launched an Artist in Residence Program. The idea is to bring exciting skills to the environment for a short period. The program seeks artists working within the field of new media interested in collaborative practices. Each year one artist will be selected. Arlene Birt is a visual storyteller, artist and information designer has been selected for the position 2010 and will be at MEDEA during the autumn.

Arlene Birt is a visual storyteller, artist and information designer. Her work focuses on visually communicating sustainability to explain the significance of the every-day within the context of “the big picture” – in order to engage people in their role as consumers.

Birt received a Fulbright grant to the Netherlands in 2004 to research visual communication methods to “explain” sustainability, and shortly thereafter, a Masters in Design from Design Academy Eindhoven (NL). Now based in Minnesota (US), Arlene is adjunct faculty in the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Sustainability Certificate program where she teaches communication design for sustainability. She has consulted with the UN’s Environment Program and works with the sustainability-focused brand-PR agency, Haberman.

Her work on sustainability, which rides the line between art and communication, has been featured in Creative Review (UK), U.S. News and World Report,,, SEED Magazine, and at the Barcelona Design Museum. Arlene has presented her work internationally and “cata[b]logs” examples of visual sustainability communication at

Together with MEDEA, Arlene will develop an interactive information design project to help people experience their social and environmental footprints: by making the ‘stories’ of these impacts visible and interactive – in the context of the city of Malmö. The project aims to engage people with the stories behind sustainability in order to establish a personal connection from which individuals can grasp the role they play in “the big picture” of global environment and society.

Read more about MEDEA’s Residency Programs.