Design Declares is a growing group of designers, design studios, agencies and institutions here to declare a climate and ecological emergency. As part of the global declaration movement, we commit to harnessing the tools of our industry to reimagine, rebuild and heal our world.
THIS IS BREAKDOWN
The science is settled. We are in an emergency of climate and nature. The world is past breaking point; the breakdown has begun.
THE ROLE OF DESIGN
As designers working within an industry that relies on production and powers global consumption, we must acknowledge that we have had a role in bringing us to where we are now, and that we have an important role in what comes next.
Because designers are makers. We make ideas real. We generate solutions. We build the world – dreaming up new futures and bringing them to life in ways that are beautiful, vital and impossible to resist. It’s not quite magic, but it feels like it.
TIME FOR CHANGE
Together with our clients, partners and colleagues across the supply chain, we are daring to reimagine the way we create every product, service, campaign and designed solution we put out into the world.
This means measuring and actively reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and resource use linked to our designs.
It means introducing principles of sustainability, circularity and – ultimately – regenerative design into our practice to recapture and repurpose resources and materials.
And it means acting systemically – seeing the bigger picture and working with others to sharpen design’s incredible capacity to influence and accelerate climate repair and justice.
ACT WITH URGENCY
We know all we need to make this a reality. The information, the guidance, the inspiration and solutions are there. What design needs now is action – meaningful steps that can begin to connect what we know to what we do.
This is the most important brief of our lives. Join us as we begin to design a climate-positive future.
What does it take to Declare? It’s accepting we are in an emergency of climate and nature, and a commitment to do something about it. Here are eight places to start:
1. SOUND THE ALARM
Acknowledge and raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis – including its roots in systems of oppression – in our organisations and our practice.
2. START THE JOURNEY
Invest in educating ourselves and our teams on methods of sustainable and regenerative design, and show leadership by making measurable change to our practice. The Design Declares Toolkit is a great place to start.
3. BRING CLIENTS WITH US
Meaningfully consider environmental and social impacts as part of every pitch, proposal and production process. Not every design output will be carbon neutral or fully climate friendly, but every project is an opportunity to make real progress.
4. MEASURE WHAT WE MAKE
Measure the environmental and social impact of our work and design projects, and hold ourselves to account for what we find out.
5. REDEFINE ‘GOOD’
Encourage, recognise and reward sustainable and regenerative design excellence in our industry through media and awards.
6. EDUCATE, ACCELERATE
Build and foster intra- and cross-discipline knowledge networks to share tools, resources and best practice to accelerate progress in our industry.
7. DESIGN FOR JUSTICE
Create with and for the people who are disproportionately affected both by climate change and by the transition to a lower-carbon world.
8. AMPLIFY VOICES FOR CHANGE
Enable systemic change by working alongside policymakers, campaigners, ecologists, scientists, activists and others to strengthen local and national movements for change.
Originally published in 2022