Cookies 🍪

This site uses cookies that need consent.


About Future Observatory

Future Observatory Journal

Issue Nº1: Bioregioning

Applications: Now Open

New display at the Design Museum: Solar

From sundials to solar panels, baseball caps to brise-soleils, the design of our lives has long been shaped by the sun. Solar brings together the work of the four 2023/24 Design Researchers in
opened on  

Visit Future Observatory Display

Design research for the green transition. The first display in a new dedicated space for research at the Design Museum is now open. The Future Observatory display showcases six researchers from across
opened on  

The impact of design: symptoms, systems and stories

Design can help us to imagine a different future, tackling the climate crisis through creativity and innovation.
Author: Justin McGuirk

Contaminating our Current Thinking

Cher Potter, Future Observatory's Curatorial Director discusses the role of design research with the Design Researchers in Residence Solar cohort.
Cher Potter

What is the potential legacy of a research project?

In late May, we held a networking event at the Design Museum for the researchers and industry partners involved in our Design Accelerator, Design Exchange Partnership and Design Researchers in Residence research programmes.
Author: Leilah Hirson-Comley

How do you solve a housing crisis in a climate crisis?

Over the past year, Future Observatory has been pursuing a strand of research focused on low-carbon housebuilding . The UK has a longstanding housing crisis, and yet any large-scale housebuilding
Author: Ruth Lang
Sign up to our newsletter

Solar catalogue

This publication features the work of the 2023/24 Design Researchers in Residence. It accompanies an exhibition staged at the Design Museum from June to September 2024. This year's theme, Solar emerges out of an uneasy dualism in our relationship with the sun. For as long as there have been humans, the sun has been considered a life force, an energy source and a cultural figure. Throughout their residency at the Design Museum, this year's cohort locate the role of designers and researchers in continual dialogue with how we see ourselves in relation to the burning star at the centre of the solar system. Design Researchers in Residence is Future Observatory’s programme for emerging design researchers hosted at the Design Museum.
Authors: April Barrett, Eliza Collin, Freya Spencer-Wood, George Kafka, Jamie Gatty Irving & Lila Boschet

How do you solve a housing crisis in a climate crisis?

Although the construction sector is committed to meeting net zero targets, barriers to adopting the necessary strategies to achieve this still exist. This report compiles surveyed experiences from construction industry professionals, designers, policy makers and researchers, to better understand how the systemic changes necessary might be catalysed.
Author: Ruth Lang
Browse our research Library

Funding opportunity: Design Accelerators

Apply for funding to undertake design-led solutions to address the climate crisis. Funding will be provided to support engagement activities with local communities, public and third sector organisations.
closing date  

Funding opportunity: more-than-human

Apply for funding to develop design-led projects around the theme of more-than-human design.
closing date  

Design Exchange Partnerships 2024: Biodiversity


Design Accelerators 2024: Commercialisation


Listen to Future Observatory Podcast

Growing a Home, with Material Cultures

Recycling Colour, with Aida Rafat

Stone Age revival, with Amin Taha

Luxury from Landfill, with Elvis & Kresse

Algae Farming, with Samuel Iliffe

meet the future observatory network

Nine new biodiversity research projects join the Design Exchange Partnerships programme

Supporting biodiversity is becoming an increasingly urgent focus of design research practice. With many ecosystems and species in decline, human interdependence on natural systems is ever more

Six Design Accelerator projects to drive a new generation of green innovation

Building on the theme of ‘communities,’ the new cohort of six projects will 'commercialise' their innovative solutions to accelerate the green transition across the UK.
Author: Salah ud Din