About us

In 1925 the Dartington Experiment set out to explore new ideas and projects with the aim of building a better society. The estate soon became famous as a multicultural centre, a testbed of innovation and a campus for practical and progressive learning.

The Experiment attracted some of the greatest thinkers, creatives and change makers of the 20th century and their work and ‘many-sided’ philosophy had a profound influence on the UK and beyond.

Today, we are creating a new Dartington Project for the 21st Century that is just as ambitious.

Dartington: An experiment in…

Arts & culture

Arts & culture

Our arts and cultural events attract audiences from around the world and encourage social change, learning and experimentation.

Growing & placemaking

Growing & placemaking

Growing & placemaking

Our estate, home to innovations in agriculture and architecture, is a place to build communities and the ecosystem that sustains them.

Learning & making

Learning & making

Learning & making

Our legacy of progressive education continues to inform our learning programme: from craft courses and post-graduate studies for adults to schools’ programmes for children.

Progressive enterprise

Progressive enterprise

Progressive enterprise

We are home to 150+ businesses, practitioners, artists and organisations.

Social justice

Social justice

Social justice

Respecting the rights of individuals is at the core of the original Dartington Experiment.

Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability

We generate energy on the estate, produce our own food, use our own water – and much more.

Be part of the change

Our new vision for the future aims to bring together people and ideas to become a testbed and model for a sustainable society.

Our history: Meet the Elmhirsts

The Dartington Experiment began in 1925, when Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst bought a crumbling estate and began to explore how a place could change the world – attracting some of the greatest artists, educators and political philosophers of the 20th century in the process. Important British institutions – including the NHS and the Arts Council – emerged, and ground-breaking experiments in land use, farming and education took place.

The Elmhirsts understood that the world and its people are complex. There are many sides to every story and to every human being. We need environments that encourage our whole being to flourish, in connection with nature and each other.

Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst

Our people and governance

Image from a Summer School & Festival course. Photo credit: Kate Mount

Careers

Work with us

News & blogs

Stories and features

Reports

Annual, Impact, & more

Our team

Leadership & Trustees