Cynthia Hathaway (CDN) is a designer, educator and artistic (re)searcher, trained and living in The Netherlands. Her participatory works include prototype building and concept development based on themes such as platforming community skills (Car Mecca), food and city production (XXL City Harvester), design methodologies for social sustainability (The Mennonite and Amish Design Methodology), the set up of co-learning spaces and exchange (The Department of Search and *DISCO), and the production of the commons (The Wool March). Hathaway is also founder of WASA (Wool Alliance for Social Agency), an international wool activist community and resource supporting the cultural and social systems associated with wool.
Hathaway co-produces meeting spaces for marginalized voices and productions that are not always heard and acknowledged, but are vital for the development of resilient communities. You will find her setting up shop in public space, with an open-door policy to start from scratch together. From a not-knowing position, Hathaway takes joy in asking for help. Her way of working is often described as softly interventional to create joy, confusion, and interrogate closed or stuck systems. In 2018, at the Utrecht Science Park, she wheeled locally grown giant vegetables into its canteen kitchen supplied by a global food chain. At the Van Abbe in Eindhoven, for the exhibit Sense Non-sense, she invited giant vegetable growers to display their harvest of massive pumpkins, zucchini, marrows, sunflowers and beets, confusing art and the artist, fiction and reality. In 2022, she walked with 300 sheep and their shepherds, and 100 people through the center of Tilburg, to activate ownership and belonging in a city built upon ancient sheep paths and transhumance practices.