The Jetty project emerges from an understanding that debates about sustainability are complex. Typically, sustainability is thought to compose of three pillars: the environment, the economy and equity. But there are tensions between each of these aims which mean that sustainability is interpreted and imagined differently depending on local urban contexts and histories. Such a diversity of understandings means that there will be a number of different pathways to sustainability. So, sustainable design should be rooted in and respond to its locality (Guy 2010).

The artwork that results from the Jetty project will be utilised as a catalyst for research and debate into this diversity of local and professional meanings, interpretations and understandings of sustainability in Gateshead and Newcastle.

To initially delve into this area, we asked attendees at the Jetty project’s soft launch to write a few words about what sustainability means to them, particularly in the context of Dunston Staiths. The word cloud shows the results, which incorporates a range of factors including ecology, materials and which also hinted at different understandings of sustainability and time.

Soft Launch Wordcloud

During the course of the research, we hope to unravel and follow these sustainability debates through the realisation of the highly visible art work that will emerge from the Jetty project.


Guy, Simon. “Pragmatic Ecologies: Situating Sustainable Building.” Architectural Science Review 53, no. 1 (2010): 21–28. doi:10.3763/asre.2009.0102.