Ian Garrett is Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University; director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts; and producer for the mixed reality production company Toasterlab. He is a member of Associated Designer of Canada, where he serves on the board of directors. He is a member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, where he currently serves as the curator for the United States’ entry for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial, co-chair of World Stage Design 2021, and chairs the Education Committee for the Broadway Green Alliance.
Ian maintains a design practice focused on the integration of ecology, technology and scenography such as the geolocated, mixed-reality project Transmission at the FuturePlay Festival in Edinburgh and Future of Storytelling Festival in New York. Recent work includes Groundworks with Rulan Tangen and Dancing Earth Creations, a collaborative media and performance project looking at native lands in Northern California through the collaborations with artists from Pomo, Wappo, and Ohlone communities; and with Swim Pony Performing Arts in Philadelphia on TrailOff which brings focus to the trails in watershed areas of Philadelphia through geolocated immersive audio and new writing.
Other recent projects include the set and energy capture systems for Zata Omm Dance Projects' Vox:Lumen at the Harbourfront Centre, DTAH Architects’ installation Ravine Portal for the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Toronto Site in 2014, and on the lighting team for the Crimson Collective’s Ascension, a 150’ wide, origami-style crane sculpture at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival. He has been involved with hundreds of theatre productions as a lighting and media designer.
With Chantal Bilodeau, he directs the biannual Climate Change Theatre Action project, a decentralized new-play festival of over 200 sites which has received multiple awards for climate art activism. He has spoken and consulted on the arts and the environment around the world. His writing on the topic includes Arts Driven Sustainability, Sustainably Driven Arts in the journal Scene, the monograph Arts, the Environment, and Sustainability for the Americans for the Arts' New Community Visions Initiative; The Carbon Footprint of Theatrical Production, published in Readings in Performance and Ecology, from Palgrave Macmillan, and the paper Theatre is No Place for a Plant in Landing Stages from the Ashden Directory. Garrett chaired the conferences Sustainability in Theatre and Staging Sustainability, 2014, and served as sustainability program coordinator for World Stage Design 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. At WSD 2013 he led the selection committee for the temporary sustainable theatre project built for that event, the Willow Theatre.
Ian previously served as the executive director of the Fresh Arts Coalition, an arts service organization focused on awareness and marketing in Houston, and as consultant and staff for the LA Stage Alliance. Ian received dual MFAs in Lighting Design and Producing from CalArts and has a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and Art History from Rice University.