New Frontiers: Sustainable Design Innovation Initiative Launches in the UK

New Frontiers sustainable innovation initiative image

Image via:

For those doubtful about how we can get out of the various sustainability crises we now find ourselves in, financial, social and environmental, I have two words for you: design innovation. When faced with dire situations I think people often tend to forget that we designed our way into this mess, and we can surely design our way out of it. So we're delighted to announce the launch of New Frontiers in the UK, an initiative which will fly the innovation flag to encourage "rapid development of exciting and truly sustainable design ideas, from architecture to urban design to materials engineering."We Have The Solutions
You will have heard the refrain that 'we have all the solutions to prevent runaway climate change, we just need to use them'. It's a frustrating point that is made over and over again in talks on sustainability, which makes us continually ask ourselves, so what's the problem? Let's just get on with it! But unfortunately the political and commercial systems that we've designed and created often block the path to solutions rather than enable them.

Converting Ideas in Action
Fortunately NEW FRONTIERS has been set up just to address this issue, being "designed to convert ideas into action". According to founders Melissa Sterry and Matt Prescott the initiative will be "working with leading universities, professional institutions, NGOs, government agencies and pioneering global brands to embed a strong understanding of sustainability; form new collaborations; and promote the best innovation for this new and fast-moving sector."

They go on to say, "It is designed as a programme comprising seminars, scholarships, a participative digital platform and other planned elements, culminating in a prestigious biennial national prize. Judged by leading experts, the NEW FRONTIERS Prize will support new economic goals, raise the profile of many crucial disciplines and ensure the progress of ideas and projects of true quality and value."

The NEW FRONTIERS prize will be a high profile competition that motivates designers, engineers and architects to apply their brilliant minds to innovative sustainable design solutions. The prize has a pretty exciting and wide ranging panel, including yours truly! I'm delighted to be involved. Watch this space for some upcoming action on innovation!

Zac Goldsmith, Professor Lorna Walker, Michael Pawlyn, Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Professor Neil Spiller, Lynda Relph-Knight, Dr. Tim Fox, Professor Rachel Cooper, Professor Erik Bichard, Dr. Beth Perry, Dr. Richard Miller, Leonora Oppenheim, John Thackara, Dr. Tuba Kocaturk, Mike Reardon, Dr. Vicky Lofthouse, Dr. Mike Pitts, Angharad Thomas, Matt Prescott, Dr. Angela Lee, Melissa Sterry, Sophie Thomas.

University of Salford - primary academic partner, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, University of Manchester, Loughborough University, Chemistry Innovation, Centre for Construction Innovation, Centre for the Built and Urban Environment, Eco Connect, Mickey & Mallory, CURB 100% natural media, Societás, What Women Make.

More on Design Innovation
Greener by Design 2009: It Doesn't Matter If It's Sustainable If It Isn't Cool, and Other Insights
Greener by Design 2009: Putting Designers in the Center of Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking
Sneak Peek: Cooper Hewitt to Showcase Design Innovations with ...
Better By Design: A Guidebook to Biomimicry in Product Design
live|work: Dott 07 - How do we want to live?
live|work: The new business of changing behaviors

Related Content on