Reimagining the UK design industry to boost sustainability and community innovation

Posted on: 27/09/2022

The Design Innovation Network is all about responsible design and helping innovators to connect with designers. Abi Hird, Design Innovation Network Lead at Innovate UK KTN spoke with Jo Barnard, Founder of forward-thinking design consultancy Morrama, about the new Design Declares initiative. This article features the highlights of their conversation.

What is Design Declares?

Design Declares is a climate emergency declaration campaign to encourage communication, digital, industrial, and service designers to take action on the climate and ecological crisis. It aims to connect and build a community of designers, studios, agencies, and institutions that will reimagine, rebuild and heal our world. The goal is to work towards understanding, measuring and acting on the climate impact and encouraging accountability across the design community.

Why is the climate emergency important?

In May 2019, the UK Government declared a Climate Emergency, becoming the first national government to do so. As attention to sustainable design increases, raising awareness of the climate emergency and accelerating the progress towards building a net zero economy and environmentally focused infrastructure will ensure we have a prosperous, optimistic future.

"As designers working within an industry driven by consumption and reliant on production, we have to acknowledge that we have a role to play in changing this system. This is the most important brief of our lives. Join us as we begin to design a climate-positive future."

Jo Barnard, Founder and Creative Director, Morrama

How can people benefit from Design Declares?

The main thing we hope Design Declares offers is clarity. Clarity, on what our role as designers is in climate change, shedding light on the impact we have through the projects we work on, and guidance on how we can create meaningful change. Although the Toolkit has been compiled by designers, we have made it accessible for students, clients, startups and any business that relies on design in some way to ensure all stakeholders can understand, collaborate and address the sustainability challenges we face with environmental solutions.

How can design help businesses innovate responsibly?

It’s said that 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined during the design phase of a product. The UK design industry has a huge opportunity to design products and services that are both people and planet centred. Businesses and designers must come together to create ways to future proof our work, our communities and our planet.

Design Declares provides a toolkit that supports designers in making changes through offering guidance, accessible tools, and frameworks for change that help us build work on delivering positive change.

Next steps

Join the Design Hive to speak to a community of designers and Innovators about sustainable, planet centred, regenerative design and ethical innovation. Also, make sure to get in touch with the Design Declares team to discuss the campaign further.

Share this article

Related Opportunities

Design Exchange Partnerships: design the green transition

Opens: 01/09/2022 Closes: 30/11/2022

Apply for funding to develop design-based solutions for specific net zero and climate crisis challenges facing UK coastal and island communities.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings

Wed
19
Oct
2022

Ignite Conversation: Creativity, the Circular Economy, and Commercial Control

12.00 - 13.00 | Online

Watch now
Thu
20
Oct
2022

Ignite Conversation: Designing Ends

12.00 - 13.00 | Online

Postponed
See all events
Abigail Hird

Our Expert

Abigail Hird

Read full profile

Related News

Innovate UK KTN launches a landmark platform to connect Innovators with Design

08/08/2022

Innovate UK KTN launches a landmark platform to connect Innovators with Design

Innovate UK KTN launches a landmark platform to connect Innovators with Design.

Read more
More News

Related programmes

Innovation Networks

Innovation Networks

Through our Innovation Network programme, we’ve united some of the best minds and greatest thinkers from across the UK in areas of innovation, development and new technologies.

Close

Connect with Innovate UK KTN

Join the Innovate UK KTN's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access IUK KTN’s deep expertise. Please visit your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.