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A gathering of Design Exchange Partnerships

Building our network of researchers

University of Brighton and Posh Totty Designs
University of the Arts London and Elvis & Kresse

Last Friday, we welcomed representatives of Future Observatory’s Design Exchange Partnerships programme to the Design Museum. The 15 partnerships bring together design researchers with non-academic organisations, such as local councils, businesses or NGOs. The two parties collaborate on a research project that aims to reduce the climate impact of the non-academic partner.

The projects are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and cover a wide range of design disciplines and approaches, with fascinating work tackling food waste on housing estates, reducing single-use plastics in the NHS, bringing circular economy principles into the fashion sector and much more. Academics in the network are based at universities across the UK stretching from Glasgow to Brighton via Ulster, Leicester, Hertfordshire, London and beyond.

These partnerships represent a significant part of Future Observatory’s nationwide research network and it was highly rewarding to hear more about their research processes and progress during the morning of presentations, and to discover moments of methodological and thematic crossover.

Sanne Visser, Design Researcher in Residence at the Design Museum

As part of Future Observatory’s ongoing work to platform cutting-edge design research, we will be publishing in-depth interviews with each of these projects in the coming months. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the researchers and how they are contributing to broader movements to address the climate crisis.