About the Artist

Cynthia Hathaway is fascinated by people living at remote locations, who use alternative production methods or who are different in one way or another from what is considered normal. Hathaway followed car hobbyists, giant vegetable growers, Inuit hunters, farmers from Mennonite and Amish communities, repairmen and mavericks. Hathaway documents these peripheral communities and sheds light on their expertise in survival and resourcefully fending for themselves. In her work, she creates platforms where various experts collaborate and exchange experience, creating room for alternative and accidental views on designing a sustainable future and forms of new communities.

About the Search Question


For the Department of Search, Hathaway is looking for possibilities of keeping campus resources in, and has been working with feeding the campus locally grown giant vegetables. Recently, she has opened at the Department of Search Barn the Sweat(er)shop and D-stillery. Hathaway unites artistic (including hobbyists) and scientific thinkers around the question: how do we make space public and productive through the use of local materials? Her search shows the richness of the Utrecht Science Park in terms of local food production opportunities. The organic cows at the Tolakker farm produce about 750,000 liters of beautiful milk per year and taken away to feed elsewhere. Some restaurants on campus import less than that annually, so questions arise if it is possible to complement or intervene with the present import system and consider a local feeding system.

The campus also has areas of extensive pasture where approximately three hundred and twenty five sheep graze. The sheep are part of the Tolakker research farm for veterinarian studies. At present, Hathaway has approximately 450 kilos of wool normally taken away after shearing, and has found out wool is a rich resource for clothing and vitamin D3.  With a campus focused on sustainability, wearing a sweater indoors allows for heat to be turned down and making a sweater with your own sweat curbs reliance on sweatshops elsewhere and complements a majority of mind work. Additionally, expertise from chemistry and the glass lab of Science Instrumentation can be used to highlight the uses of lanolin from the oily wool. With the aim of making a sweater and Vitamin D3 with local labor the Sweat(er) Shop tests the desire and ability of local consumers in this context to “go local”.



Cynthia Hathaway cooperates with the Tolakker farm (Hans Lutz, Leonie Vernooij, Anton Uyttewaal, Patricia Gadella), Sodexo Restaurants (Timo Bierhoff), De MelkSalon (Sietske Klooster), the Botanic Gardens (Gerard van Buiten and Ivo van Capel), Cultural Anthropology Department UU (Fabiola Jara Gomez and students), Institute for Life Sciences and Chemisty HU (Raymond Pieters, Hermen Bollemaat, Cristina Chamarro Perez),  Scientific Instrumentation and Glass Lab (Jos van Gemert, Peter de Graaf), Wendy Cornelius (Alumni of Fashion Department HKU), Oliva Garcia (Filting Utrecht),  University College Roosevelt (Sophie Krier), Bart Hoogeboom and Tanya Hendrix (Kaarderij Wollust), Andre and Karin Snoeijers (Wool Works), Bradley Wursten (Giant Pumpkins, reuzepompoen.webs.com).


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Department of Search

The initiative of the Department of Search was taken by the Aardschap Foundation and the municipality of Utrecht in collaboration with the Utrecht Science Park Foundation and Universitity Utrecht. The Zero Footprint Campus programme is also made possible by The Art of Impact, Mondriaan Fonds, provincie Utrecht, K.F. Hein Fonds, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds and Stichting Doen.


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