Be a Green Designer

Emerging artists and designers can make a difference through their design practice and should use their creativity abilities at the service of environmentally conscious design.

This issue has been discussed last Thursday at the Chelsea College, in occasion of the lecture ‘Be a green designer’, held as part of the Go Green Week, launched by UAL to raise awareness of green issues on campus.

Speakers included recent CSM graduates Paul Thurston – head of Think Public – and Jason Allcorn, Creative Director of [Re]design. Alongside Amelia Gregory – artist, designer, activist and publisher of ‘Amelia’s Magazine’.

How can design be applied to social and cultural issues? Growing global concerns about environmental problems such as climate change and pollution make sustainable design the road that takes to the future of design and new graduates should take this philosophy on board.

Gregory said:” “We have to be sustainable – there really is no other option. I think we should make all design sustainable as quickly as possible.”

Paul Thurston, head of Think Public, an agency focused on using design to improve service experiences in the public sector, such as NHS and many others at local level.

He said:  “ Sustainable design isn’t a discipline in it’s own right, this makes it niche and therefore it will never have the impact it should. Sustainable design should be thought of as an approach rather than a separate discipline and embedded through all design work.”

Design it’ not only about creating things, but also engaging people and the strong growing concerns for the global environment should foster sustainability approaches for industries.

Finding the right paths to engage people is not always easy task. Amanda Gregory runs her own magazine, which features illustrative images and painting on environment issues.

She is also an activist and worked on lots of imagery and graphic design for Climate Camp at the G20 last year. She also launched a competition to re-design the Royal bank of Scotland logo, for sustainability. The winner was Mithi Shafiq, a former scientist who moved to illustrative design, thinking it could better help the environment cause.

Gregory believes that scientists and artists are not so different and artists helping scientists to better visualize their ideas.

She says: “I think that both think creatively in their work. To dream up great inventions, you have to be creative. Maybe scientists could best be described as creative thinkers, whilst on the whole artists think much more visually. In this way they can help each other.”

In conclusion, sustainable design seems appealing, however for recent graduates the problems remains always the same.

Jenny Espirito Santo, Fda Interior Design student at the LCC said: “ The lecture was really helpful in terms of new ideas. But if you need to design something you will need the funds for it. I wanted to know how to start off and make a different, but I still don’t know the answer for that.”


Think Public

Amelia’s Magazine

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