The Design Council, digital product design firm Driftime and London-based design studio Pearson Lloyd are among eight founding signatories of a new campaign to give UK designers the tools and informationthey need to tackle their environmental footprint. Launched at the London Design Festival, Design Declares encourages studios from across digital, industrial, communication and service design to join together and declare a climate emergency.
The launch of the initiative has taken place three years after the formation of Architects Declare and Engineers Declare in 2019.
The organisers have set out a loose set of guidelines, called the ‘eight acts of emergency’ – ranging from measuring their carbon footprint to influencing clientsto choose more climate-friendly outcomes – to help firms to begin to tackle their environmental impact. Each of the eight ‘acts’ is supported by a toolkit of concrete insights and tools designed to support signatories in this process. Once designers have signed up, they can gain access to a professional support network made up of other signatories through regular catch-ups and LinkedIn groups.
Design Declares intends to check in with signatories every six months to see how they are progressing. However, the campaign doesn’t require them to meet specific carbon-reduction targets.
The organisers hope that by the beginning of November,when the Design Council will host its Design for Planet Festival, the declaration will have been signed by at least 1,000 design studios and firms from across the UK. The festival will feature talks and information on the campaign, and signatories will be able to unite behind a set of industry-backed demands for top-down regulatory changes to support the bottom-up movement to decarbonise the design sector that will be put to the UK government. Among the campaign’s other longer-term goals are building a knowledge network and developing the toolkit area to help designers understand what best practice is.
For now, the campaign is only accepting signatures from studios and freelance designers in the UK, but the organisers are actively working to create international partnerships in countries such as France, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Designers can sign up to the initiative here.