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Design Field
Research Strand

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

Future Observatory publishes report on low-carbon housebuilding

Author: Ruth Lang

Future Observatory Journal launches with issue on bioregioning

“If ever there was a time to consider alternative ways of building a future, it is now. What we do this decade will shape the rest of the century. But what if, rather than fetishising innovation, what
Author: Justin McGuirk

“Learning from each other”

At the end of November, we held a forum for the researchers and academic partners on our Design Exchange Partnership and Design Accelerator programmes. Marking the end of both cohorts’ research
Author: Leilah Hirson-Comley

Future Observatory opens display space at the Design Museum

Future Observatory and the Design Museum today open a free display space dedicated to design research responding to environmental crises. Located on the museum’s second floor balcony, the Future

How can the culture sector drive the green transition?

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

‘You can fit the tools you need to make a stone beam in a suitcase’

Over 30% of global carbon emissions are produced by construction. To meet national and international climate targets, the UK therefore needs to radically rethink the materials with which it builds.
Leilah Hirson-Comley

‘Housing is one area where individuals can take meaningful action’

Facilitating the adoption of domestic retrofitting in Canterbury and East Kent is a Design Accelerator led by the University for the Creative Arts. Our coordinator Leilah Hirson-Comley spoke with
Leilah Hirson-Comley

Redefining the problems, reframing the questions

The following conversation sees Future Observatory’s curatorial director, Cher Potter, in discussion with the 2022/23 cohort of Design Researchers in Residence on the topic of design research.
Cher Potter

‘If we care about the planet, we should care about pigeons’

Ahead of the opening of the Design Researchers in Residence’ exhibition at the Design Museum in late-June, our coordinator Leilah Hirson-Comley caught up with resident James Peplow Powell.
Leilah Hirson-Comley

Adapting Together

Adapting Together, last week’s symposium organised by Future Observatory and ImaginationLancaster, set out to consider how designers can create and support participation in climate action.
Author: George Kafka

The Museum as a Catalyst

Museums are changing. They can be catalysts, proactively supporting a just and sustainable future.
Author: Justin McGuirk

‘They transformed in front of us’

The Design Exchange Partnerships are fifteen AHRC-funded research projects integral to the Future Observatory programme. Each funded project brings researchers into collaboration with non-academic
Leyla Salih

Apply now: Low Carbon Housing

Future Observatory is recruiting a Research Lead to deliver a research project, Low Carbon Housing: How a museum can help drive sustainable mass housing in the UK, funded by the Arts and Humanities

Questions of Scale: Reflecting on our first symposium

“The first question any design researcher with an innovative idea encounters is, how do you scale that up?”