London design festival goes sustainable

This year’s London Design Festival will host a creative space that will reach out to the design community, its clients and the wider political arena on the key issues around the role of design in sustainability.

It is the first time that the LDF has hosted a major dedicated sustainable design event, backed by such a breadth of industry, political, academic and client supporters, according to an LDF spokesperson. Greengaged will be held on weekdays throughout the festival, which runs from 15-23 September. It is the brainchild of sustainable design consultancies Redesign and Thomas Matthews.

Thomas Matthews founder Sophie Thomas reveals that the two groups pitched the case for Greengaged to the LDF on the basis that it was time to create a platform to ‘focus the design industry on the urgent problem of climate change and start one big conversation’.

‘The LDF attracts lots of different levels of design, from print buyers to large and small design studios, as well as people who work in innovation and strategy. It’s about creating a space where these can all meet, exchange ideas and make plans,’ she explains.

The Design Council, a Greengaged partner, is hoping to bring political and academic heavyweights including London Mayor Boris Johnson, Bishop of London Richard Chartres, Ideo head of industrial design Ingrid Baron and chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission Jonathon Porritt to Greengaged debates throughout the week.

Civil engineer group Arup and Professor Anne Chick, director of Kingston University’s Sustainable Design Research Centre, are collaborating with Thomas Matthews and Redesign on programme content.

Greengaged is also seeking to help establish best practice in sustainable design, with a number of sustainable design studios showcasing work and sharing their expertise.

A series of practical master classes for designers will also be held during the week, Thomas reveals, to provide guidance for designers on issues such as the specification of print and paper within communications.

The Design Council says that a ‘Green manifesto’ will be drawn up at the conclusion of Greengaged.

Greengaged in brief

• A creative space for designers, suppliers, clients, researchers and students
• A place to meet, exchange ideas, share expertise, learn new skills and debate sustainability issues and new roles for design
• A platform for debates, practical workshops, seminars and focus groups, exhibitions, tours, knowledge-sharing, networking events and film screenings
• Events will examine ecological imperatives, political and social drivers and sustainable design strategies across all disciplines• Online resource soon to launch

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