An influential panel will debate the role designers must take in driving a sustainable manufacturing model.
The societal and environmental issues that surround design and its impacts are complex and more than often hidden away. Take our current linear manufacturing model of 'take-make-dispose'. We dig up and process raw materials, combine to make new objects (that we buy to replace our newish but now obsolete stuff) which usually go straight in the rubbish and on to landfill. Studies now show that of the materials churning through the consumer economy, only a miniscule 1% are still in use six months after being sold.
This business as usual model simply cannot continue. Risk to supply chains is increasing, resources are dwindling, planet and people are being exploited beyond endurance and the cost of materials is rising sharply. We need to shift towards more circular systems and good design is pivotal to this transition.
But how do we make this change a reality? Consumers obviously play a huge role – we can demand more transparent supply chains and make more ethical purchasing decisions. Politicians can play their part through legislation, and the media and advertising industries can behave more responsibly in response to these shifts. But what of designers? Good design makes things aesthetically desirable. Are designers part of the problem as well as the solution, and how much power do they really have to re-write the design brief?
An influential panel will gather to debate the role designers must take in driving a sustainable manufacturing model.
Panel to include: George Monbiot, bestselling author, environmental activist and journalist; Nat Hunter, co-head of RSA Design and the Great Recovery Project; Jonathan Chapman, professor of sustainable design, Brighton University; Rich Gilbert, co-founder, The Agency of Design.
(We are sorry to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances, George Monbiot was not able to join our panel. He sent his apologies for any disappointment caused as a result).
Chair: Mark Shayler, eco-innovator and founding partner of the Do Lectures
The Great Recovery has been investigating current design practice – starting at the current end of life - the recovery centres and the reprocessing plants and using the outcomes to re-engineer new processes to demonstrate closed loop. We are building new networks and knowledge in the design community with the aim to incubate new collaborations.
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