Businesses and designers invited to collaborate for the Design Council’s Design for Planet Festival 2023 at the University of East Anglia

Published by  Communications

On 13th Jun 2023

The Design Council have announced the third edition of the award-winning Design for Planet Festival, which will be held at one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, the Enterprise Centre on the University of East Anglia (UEA) campus.

Anticipating the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the two-day hybrid event will take place on Tuesday 17 October and Wednesday 18 October 2023. Under the theme COLLABORATE, the festival aims to mobilise the UK's powerful design community to unite efforts to address the climate crisis. 

Guests will hear from some of the leading voices in sustainability and design today, across a series of online and in-person events, seminars and keynotes, including contributions from design anthropologist Dr Dori Tunstall, science communicator Asher Minns, illustrator and designer Stefanie Posavec, housing campaigner and television presenter Kwajo Tweneboa, and many more. 

The festival is free to all designers, universities, students and businesses alike, and those for whom design for the planet matters in their daily lives, leisure and work – with registrations open from today.

The Design for Planet Festival is the Design Council's flagship event as part of the Design for Planet mission: to galvanise the 1.97 million people working in the UK design industry to innovate our way to a net zero world and beyond.  

This year’s festival theme, COLLABORATE, champions design innovation and advocacy in the face of climate crisis as a collective act. The event brings together leading experts from the world of design, fashion, built environment, policy, media and education to empower an important cross-industry dialogue. Placing the planet at the heart of this conversation, the festival highlights the shared responsibility and power of collaboration in the lead up to the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, later in the year. 

Amplifying the importance of collaboration, Design for Planet Festival 2023 has introduced a new approach to its curatorial panel, inviting for the first time an inspiring and diverse group of cross-sectoral experts to help curate the festival alongside Design Council experts.  

The Design for Planet Festival 2023 curatorial panel includes Cat Drew, Chief Design Officer, Design Council; Natasha Trotman, Design Council Expert, Inclusion; Alice Fisher, Design Journalist at The Guardian; Shawn Adams, Co-Founder of Poor Collective; and Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at UEA. 

The festival will feature more than 60 cross-industry experts from many diverse disciplines of sustainability and design – from fashion and built environment to energy, mobility, inclusivity, policy, media, and education. Keynote speakers include Bas Van Abel, Founder of Fairphone and Dr Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design, Ontario College of Art and Design University, who will deliver a keynote on the importance and impact of collaboration in design. 

Further speakers and panel discussions announced today include: Asher Minns, Executive Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research alongside Stefanie Posavec, illustrator and designer of ‘The Climate Book’ by Greta Thunberg; Rosslyn Colderley, England North Director of Sustrans; and housing campaigner and television presenter Kwajo Tweneboa. 

Minnie Moll, Chief Executive for the Design Council, said:  

“This will be our third year of curating the sustainable design event of the year; discovering what design needs to do to solve the greatest challenge of our time. We will bring together designers, businesses, and policy makers to connect, inspire and help make this year's theme of COLLABORATE a reality.  

“The theme COLLABORATE is an opportunity to champion the ways in which design happens with others, has impact at scale with multiple actors in the room, and is more meaningful when we do it together.” 
 
Prof John Gordon, Academic Lead for CreativeUEA, said: 

“UEA is delighted to host the Design Council’s Design for Planet festival, which promises an exciting programme of events and debates exploring and supporting the UK design industry’s role in a sustainable, climate-first future. As host, our university is superbly positioned to contribute: our strategic research themes ClimateUEA and CreativeUEA link researchers and partners from across disciplines, exploring new areas of research, learning, action and impact. We are also home to Brandland, which champions Norfolk’s rich brand heritage and sustainable innovation. 

“The Enterprise Centre on our campus is a fitting location for this conversation. As one of the greenest buildings in Europe, it is a shining example of how to design for the planet. Innovations by the thriving creative and cultural industries of Norwich and the Eastern region demonstrate how it is possible link place and communities to realise an ethos of sustainability, an ethos that connects local and global outlooks. We expect that the festival will be an inspiring call for action for our students and researchers, and for artists, designers, businesses and individuals.”

To register for the Design for Planet Festival, visit the Design Council website.
 

Photo credit: Denisa Ilie

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