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The global climate crisis has forced all industries to contribute for the avoidance of further destruction of the world. Virtually anyone in any sector is concerned about it and would want to do something to improve the current condition of the Earth.
Political leaders issued serious warnings last week. “The worse it gets, the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act because humanity has long since run the clock down on climate change.” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden described the climate crisis as “an existential threat, a threat to human existence as we know it.”
COP26 commitments include maintaining a temperature rise of up to 1.5 degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. While the burden of responsibility is, and should be on governments, it shall also be put on every company, smaller businesses, and, to a lesser extent, those who work with them. Everyone joins hands to do something for the earth. But as designers, what really we can do?
The best way to deal with this is to inform, and the designers are experts in this! As individuals who shape the way brands communicate and develop products, spaces, services, and systems, they can do an effective work to communicate and spread awareness. The Design Council is currently considering this with its Design for Planet Festival, which runs from November 9 to 10 at V&A Dundee. The purpose of this festival is to inspire and motivate designers, and at the same time show them practical work that as a result strives to improve the planet.
The festival aims to provide designers with tools, training, and knowledge for climate and environmental design. Some questions which the Design Council aims to answer include: ‘How can we create resilient, adaptive spaces?’; ‘How can we circularly reuse materials?’; ‘How can we design products and services that help shift our collective behaviors?’; and ‘How can we upskill and diversify the design industry?’
Projects that need to be considered
Not surprisingly, many design-related activities occur simultaneously with COP26. This view holds that the age of waste is a new level in which waste can be used as a raw material. The exhibition addresses how design can make ‘reuse’ possible instead of recycling. Norman suggests that “we shouldn’t be pushing for recycling” but should instead be “helping to design systems that make it easier to reuse and repair things instead”.
The Design, Climate, Action series
The Color of Climate Crisis is now on display at the Glasgow Pipe Factory. It features 24 black or colored designers and examines the idea of climate injustice – the idea that blacks, indigenous peoples, and people of color are most affected by the climate crisis and historically least responsible. We are all looking forward to seeing how a motivated and mobilizing design industry can show customers and consumers that this attitude benefits everyone.