Today, we are publishing three cultural policy reports across architecture, cultural institutions and exhibition impact which suggest how the UK cultural sector might adapt to meet national net zero commitments.
In January 2023, we appointed six fellows from across the UK design landscape to better understand the next stage of sustainability best practice and suggest recommendations of how UK policy might adapt or support accordingly.
Today, we are sharing the first chapter of this research, with three reports from URGE Collective, DSDHA Architects and South Ken ZEN+. The research is commissioned, funded and coordinated by Future Observatory at the Design Museum, in partnership with AHRC; and supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Strategies for Reducing the Carbon Impact of Temporary and Touring Exhibitions in the Museums and Galleries sector
As part of their fellowship, URGE Collective has worked with the Design Museum’s Exhibitions and Environmental Impact team to explore the carbon impact of temporary and touring exhibitions in the UK museums and galleries sector. Building on previous work around the Design Museum’s carbon assessment of its 2021 Waste Age exhibition and the subsequent development of the museum’s Environmental Impact Guide, URGE used the Future Observatory fellowship as an opportunity to test the guide and conduct workshops/interviews across the sector, in order to scale this research.
Retrofitting for Cultural Infrastructure
During their fellowship, architects at DSDHA explored retrofitting for cultural infrastructure through several case studies across the UK built environment. In their report, DSDHA outline key recommendations for supporting cultural retrofit projects across the UK, and suggest a practical guide for cultural organisations considering the holistic retrofit of existing cultural buildings or alternative premises.
Development of a Sustainability Reporting Framework for Co-Located, Cross-Sector Organisations
And finally, in the South Ken ZEN+ fellowship, Exhibition Road Cultural Group and 3ADAPT collaborated to develop a sustainability reporting framework for local cross-sector organisations. The research focuses on Exhibition Road Cultural Road Group’s network of 22 member organisations in South Kensington, and aims to share knowledge and suggestions for how these cultural and educational institutions can accelerate their sustainability development.
Read the three reports below, or browse the Future Observatory library.
This research is supported by the DCMS Science and Analysis R&D Programme, according to UKRI’s initial hypotheses and output requests. Any primary research, subsequent findings or recommendations do not represent DCMS views or policy and are produced according to academic ethics, quality assurance and independence.