Unusual Rigging leads the Circular Economy debate at PLASA 19

9th September 2019


Unusual Rigging's Tom Harper led a session hosted by SiPA at PLASA 2019, aiming to explore how 'Circular' the live production industry really is.

The session which took place on 15th Sept. at 14.00 looked at how the industry needs to decouple 'show business' from the highly wasteful, energy intensive and inefficient consumption of finite resources.

Tom, a director at Unusual Rigging as well as the company's Circular Economy lead, recently completed his MBA in Circular Economy Innovation and is passionate to drive forward system shifts to ensure an effective transition towards an economic model that is regenerative by design.

"This isn't just about what we at Unusual Rigging can do – although we are very much trying to lead by example. It's about working with the entire industry in order to radically reduce consumption levels. We are locked in a system in which everything favours the linear model of production and consumption where we 'take, make and waste'. But there are things that the live production industry can be doing to drive forward the transition to a Circular Economy – we used the session to identify those things and figure out how we can accelerate this transition."

Unusual's Emily Egleton joined the panel alongside Carol Scott from Tait, John Winters from the National Theatre and Dr Greg Lavery from Rype Office. Emily will be touching on the innovations preserving the 'Technosphere'.

Emily commented: "It's looking at designing for disassembly, designing for durability and establishing robust reverse networks in the value chain that can be fully recovered, refurbished and reused – thereby closing the loop. This has been at the forefront of our work at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane which is currently undergoing massive refurbishment works."

Tom added: "Since pushing forward with this model of business at Unusual, we now have a team member on site whose job it is to sift through the material we reclaim from site and to identify all the items that can be reused."

He concluded: "The event was a brilliant, lively and informative discussion and debate. It encouraged questions and has hopefully started the ball rolling for many other companies within the industry to get on board."

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