Established in Devon in 1925 through the purchase of the declining 14th century Dartington estate by the philanthropic Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, Dartington Hall became a remarkable centre of sustainable social, artistic, educational and agricultural experimentation and innovation. Over the ninety years of its history, the Dartington Hall Trust has striven continually to sustain its relevance and its inspiring mission to be experimental and daring in keeping with the original ethos of its founders.
The Dartington Hall Trust’s underpinning purpose is to use the whole estate as a living classroom to stimulate new thinking and action to help develop a more sustainable, more just and more enriching world. This demanding mission requires innovative thinking and activity as well as dedicated and sophisticated stewardship and development of the Estate’s numerous and significant assets. The opportunity to refresh and embolden the purpose and the sense of ambition has been taken on by the recently appointed CEO. He has invited me to help deliver significant workshops that engage and inspire stakeholders to come on a journey of development and uplift.
I have delivered a seminal two-day workshop with the Chairman, Trustees and key external influencers that led to refreshed insight and an enhanced strategy for the whole-campus development resulting in proposals for significant new interventions. I have authored the Trust’s first Design Manifesto as a tool to ensure that in all interventions across the Estate incorporate the Trust’s shared design values so they may be both embedded and reflected in outcomes – whether a new building or an information leaflet.