Welcome to Future Observatory

Date: Monday 7 February 2022

Future Observatory is a new national programme for design research supporting the UK’s response to the climate crisis. We put on exhibitions, programme events, fund and support new research and publish interactive reports, all with the aim of sharing new design thinking on environmental issues.

Our team was assembled in late 2021 and brings together wide-ranging professional experience across culture, publishing and design research. Our director is Justin McGuirk who has worked as chief curator of the Design Museum since 2015. Liz Thornhill is our programme manager, she oversees our events and other activities, bringing extensive previous experience running public programmes in arts and culture institutions across the UK, including Sir John Soane’s Museum. Our curatorial director is Cher Potter, a design curator and former research fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Cher is commissioning reports on emerging design ecosystems across the UK, watch this space for an open call coming soon. George Kafka is the Future Observatory curator. He runs the Researchers in Residency programme hosted at the Design Museum and has a background as an editor and writer across architecture and design. Our coordinator is Lila Boschet, a literature graduate who is researching affective responses to the climate crisis as part of an MA at King’s College London.

On this site we'll be sharing the research we're supporting and keeping you up to date with our activities both at the Design Museum and around the UK. Were also hosting live research from our Researchers in Residence and will be publishing interviews with vital design thinkers working on responses to the climate crisis.

The best way to stay up to date is through our monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. Otherwise get in touch by email at futureobservatory@designmuseum.org.