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Registration is now open for the Design for Planet Festival at Northumbria

8th September 2022

Biologist and wildlife film maker, Patrick Ayree, who worked for the BBC’s Natural History Unit alongside Sir David Attenborough, will host the Design Council’s Design for Planet Festival, due to take place at Northumbria University in November.

The Design Council announced the return of its award-winning festival earlier this summer, with the event aimed at supporting the UK’s 1.97 million-strong design community to address the climate emergency.

The 2022 hybrid festival will take place at Northumbria on Tuesday 8th November and Wednesday 9th November, to coincide with COP27, providing a series of virtual events and live broadcasts.

Caption: The Design for Planet festival 2022 will be hosted by Northumbria University.Northumbria University’s first class rating for sustainability according to the People & Planet University League table, a Gold Award from Green Tourism’s GreenCheck award scheme for the conference and events offer, and the ambitious targets within the University’s Environmental Sustainability Policy, makes it an ideal festival venue. The state-of-the-art School of Design has an international reputation for producing innovative, hands-on and industry-ready graduates as well as world leading research.

As well as Patrick, confirmed speakers for the festival will include circular fashion designer Phoebe English, model and ecologist Zinnia Kumar, innovator and podcaster Sara Vaughan, strategist, writer and curator Sarah Ichioka, architect Michael Pawlyn and youth climate justice activist Daze Aghaji.

The festival is free to all designers, universities, students and businesses alike – with online registrations now open.

Faced with the climate and biodiversity emergencies, the scale of what the UK needs to design – and re-design – to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 is immense.

As the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, COP27, gets under way in Egypt, the Design for Planet Festival aims to bring together leading minds from the design and sustainability landscape to provide free information, tools, practical workshops and stimulating conversation, in a bid to accelerate design innovation across the UK.

The festival will feature over 100 experts from many diverse disciplines of design, from biodiversity and materials to supply chains, energy, food waste and much more. Visitors can expect talks, practical sessions, design tools and a full list of speakers to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Design Council’s flagship event was held at the V&A in Dundee last year, and brought together 120 sustainable design leaders, 6,000 online attendees and was awarded gold in the GOV Design Awards 2022.

Minnie Moll, Chief Executive of the Design Council, said: “We are so excited to be announcing our second Design for Planet Festival. Once again we will have an incredible line up of speakers to challenge and inspire, this year with even more focus on action. In the 9 months since our last event we have witnessed more shocking impact of the climate crisis and we must keep a sense of urgency about the huge changes we need to make.” 

Professor Steven Kyffin, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Enterprise) at Northumbria University, said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to be hosting the 2022 Design for Planet festival at Northumbria University, following the success of the inaugural event last year.

“This will enable even stronger connections and collaborations to be built between our research, innovation and educational ambitions and those of the wider industrial and civic contexts in the region. The core thematic areas being addressed by the festival, of course align perfectly with our own academic agenda and therefore we look forward to engaging with businesses and cultural organisations across the wonderful North East. Our colleagues and students alike will be playing a pivotal role in ensuring its success. Their creativity, innovative and future-focused critical thinking is key to helping us shape a more positive future for us all.”

Sign up to the Design for Planet Festival here.

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