Student Profile - Emma Kidd


 1. What had you been doing prior to beginning your PG course at Schumacher College?

After I graduated from an undergraduate degree in design, aged 21, I moved from the UK to Hong Kong and worked as a Lingerie Designer and Product Developer. This was my first taste of many aspects of life that I hadn’t yet been exposed to. This included amazing things, such as; South East Asian food, Thai kick-boxing, snorkeling, skyscrapers, and the joys of solo adventure. And not so amazing things, such as; heavy pollution, feeling anonymous in a metropolis, conspicuous consumerism, superficiality, inhumane working conditions in factories, and environmentally destructive industrial development.

2. What was it that made you want to take the programme?

In Jan 2009 I left Hong Kong, and my career, in search of more satisfying and sustainable ways of living. I landed in London, and literally days after, made my way down to Schumacher to do two three week short courses, almost back-to-back. The first was ‘Can the Earth Survive Capitalism?’, the second was ‘Designing for Sustainability’. Walking into Schumacher College for the first time was incredible, and such a breath of fresh air. I realised that I had finally found a place where people were asking the same questions as me. During the short courses I studied alongside the, then, current MSc students -  and as I was actively searching for a postgraduate programme in the UK – I realised that it was just a perfect match.

3. Describe your time at the College?

Bliss! After a rather tumultuous time working in the fashion industry, studying on the MSc and living on site at the Old Postern were some of the happiest months that I had experienced in life up until that point. As I write in my new book, First Steps to Seeing, studying on the MSc in Holistic Science turned my world upside down, and my way of seeing life the ‘right’ way up. Combine this rather earth-shattering effect on my thoughts and perception, with being surrounded by some of the loveliest people I have ever met (fellow students, volunteers and staff), with being fed like a queen on the famous Schumacher kitchen’s incredible vegetarian food, and being surrounded my some of the most beautiful English countryside that I have ever seen – and that my heart still yearns for to this day – and you have one of the most enjoyable, transformative experiences, and periods, of my life.

4. What have you gone on to do since leaving the College?

After leaving the college I did an internship in Environmental Education with the Sharpham Trust; put my new values and thoughts into practise within my profession as Lingerie Designer and worked with amazing ethical design projects such as Whomadeyourpants?, a worker co-op in Southampton who work with female refugees to make underwear; I created my own ethical and re-skilling project that teaches women how to make their own underwear called Emiliana Underwear; and I continued to follow my passion for phenomenology and the incredible work of one of my MSc teachers, the British philosopher Henri Bortoft. This now forms the basis of my current work which involves writing about our ways of seeing and being, in an accessible way, and leading practical workshops on expanding people’s way seeing, which are based upon perceptual and sensorial exercises. The latest expression of which is my new book, First Steps to Seeing: A Path to Living Attentively, which was published by Floris books on the 18th June.

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