There is no time to wait
Last month, we opened our doors to DOTI: From service design to sustainable environmental action. We left with a sense of urgency, to reflect on our practices as designers to try and ensure our solutions are as sustainable as possible. As a community, we rallied in the belief that our practices can contribute to building what’s desperately needed to confront climate catastrophe.
- The politics of the invisible (pollution, CO2, biodiversity loss) and the power of those with influence. Trust and power play a massive role here and we need to understand these as ‘materials’ for better design.
- Our capacity to prototype, to make – the craft of design – means we can show what’s possible, which inspires movement. We need this creativity because we need to move fast.
- As designers, we cannot get debilitated by the scale of the problem and political inactivity. We respond to problems by ‘doing not talking’ and we need to bring that ethos to this monumental challenge, bridging the gap between academia and reality.
From human centred design to ‘living-things-centred-design’
We’ve heard your feedback and have outlined a number of ideas. We know there has been plenty of work already done here by Sophie Thomas, John Thackara, Jonathan Chapman, EcoLabs and countless others. We want to bring together people who have been working in the space already, with others who are keen to mobilise. Our ideas don’t chart a route forward, but aim to address our practice and build accountability within our industry. We also know that we’ll need the support of those that hold positions of power, leadership and finance, and we are actively working to connect those dots.
Our big questions:
- Can we rapidly test new tools and processes that have considerations of environmental impact inbuilt?
- Can we co-create design briefs to commission the work needed to orchestrate a ‘just transition’?
- Can we influence industry strategy to establish service design as a key component of sustainability and the circular economy?
- Can we create and apply an environmental service standard?
- Together, can we implement something more radical, more urgent and at scale?
We’re hosting another event in London to address these questions, plan our next steps, and aim to widen participation across the UK. Register your interest in joining us here and we’ll send more information soon.
“Design is the first signal of human intention”Daniel Wahl - Designing Regenerative Cultures