Adapting Together: How can we all play a part in climate action?
Tuesday Nov 22, 2022

Lancaster University LICA Building, Lancaster

Book your free ticket

Climate change affects everyone but not everyone is able to take effective action against the climate crisis. With systemic change slow, and the public encouraged to shoulder individual responsibility, the majority are faced with an unrealistic burden. How can design create accessible opportunities to engage with the climate crisis? How can design work for the benefit of both our community and climate? This symposium explores pathways to equitable climate action through design-led community, research and environmental projects, across four themes of repair, adapt, collaborate and transition.

“Human-induced climate change is the cause of dangerous and widespread disruption to nature and affects the lives of billions of people around the world” (IPCC report, Feb 2022). Urgent action is required on local, national and global scales and we know that society has a desire to combat this crisis. However, some routes to climate action, such as buying organic produce, investing in electric vehicles or installing expensive home insulation, are not accessible to all. We also face increasingly complex challenges in a post-pandemic society with a cost of living crisis and food and fuel poverty colliding with "and sometimes directly impeding" climate policy.

So how might design and design research help create inclusive, collective opportunities and tangible pathways to change, where every individual can access and contribute towards a collective good? Taking eight case studies - spanning e-waste and repair, community housing and collective action – and inviting responses to those case studies, we ask how we might respond equitably to the climate crisis.

This symposium is a collaboration between ImaginationLancaster – a design-led research lab at Lancaster University and Future Observatory – a national programme for design research supporting the UK’s response to the climate crisis at the Design Museum.

Venue: Lancaster House Hotel, (adjacent to Lancaster University campus just off the A6), Green Lane, Lancaster, United Kingdom LA1 4GJ.

Tickets are free, refreshments and lunch are included.

Early Career Researchers can apply to attend the symposium and a place-based equitable climate action workshop and have their travel to the symposium reimbursed up to £250. To find out more and apply, visit Imagination Lancaster.

This symposium is funded by Research England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which are both part of UK Research and Innovation.


Akil Scafe Smith, Co-founder of RESOLVE Collective

Amahra Spence, Co-founder and Creative Director of MAIA

Cher Potter, Curatorial Director, Future Observatory at the Design Museum

Danielle Purkiss, Architect and Research Fellow at the UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub and Institute of Making

Immy Kaur, Co Founder and Director of CIVIC SQUARE

Irtiza Nasar, University of the Arts London's Creative Computing Institute

Jo Bambrough, Co-founder of Good Things Collective

Professor Jenni Popay, Director of Lancaster University’s Centre for Public Health Inequalities

Justin McGuirk, Chief Curator of the Design Museum and Director of Future Observatory

Laurie Peake, Director of Super Slow Way

Mark Davies, Chief Executive, Lancaster City Council

Melissa Mean, Director of We Can Make

Dr Mike Stead, Principal Investigator of ImaginationLancaster's The Repair Shop 2049

Professor Nick Dunn, Executive Director of ImaginationLancaster and Chair of Urban Design at Lancaster University

Full programme to be published in the lead up to the event.

Who is this event for?

Academics, researchers and students – we will be presenting a range of the latest design research around climate change and community.

Public sector, community and voluntary organisations – this is a chance to shape the debate around how we include all of our society in taking climate action.

People who live in Lancaster and Morecambe district – we will be discussing issues that affect you and your future.

Anyone concerned with the climate crisis and how we can work together to address this.