Sustainable Futures Exhibition Asks Can Design Make a Difference?

home food photo

Images by B. Alter: Local River

Can design make a difference is the question that this new exhibition about sustainability at the Design Museum in London sets out to explore. Under five themes the exhibition explores sustainable projects that are in place already or in the planning.

Sponsored by PUMA, which has recently announced its own long-term sustainability programme, the Museum answers the question by using the themes of cities, energy and economics, food, materiality and creative citizens to illustrate the answer.

train managers photo

Images by B. Alter: Worn Again Train Manager's Bag

As always at the Design Museum, the show is a chance to see new ideas and concepts in the design world. Some of the projects will be familiar to loyal TreeHugger readers, while others are new and exciting.

Materiality is an examination of new materials used in different ways, the Plastiki ship, made out of 12,500 plastic bottles is featured. The Train Manager's bag, designed for Eurostar train staff by Worn Again, is made out of decommissioned staff uniforms and seats. The digital rainbow clothing, made from old Ministry of Defense parachutes, by Christopher Raeburn is also highlighted.

andrea filter photo

Andrea Living Air Purifier
Creative Citizen celebrates the everyday choices that we make as consumers which emphasize quality over quantity and long-term over short-term values. The Hand-Me-Down jacket by howies is made of fleece from Scottish sheep and lined with tightly-woven 100% cotton. The Andrea (pictured) is a living air purifier which uses plants known for their filtering ability to absorb contaminated air.

Food is about the life cycle of food. Eating local and seasonal used to be the only option available. Now we can have anything we want from anywhere in the world and this is leading to exhausted farmland and transportation costs to the environment. This section includes the Edible Estates project by Fritz Haeg.

grow greenhouse photo

Grow Your Own Greenhouse
Grow Your Own Greenhouse is a compact greenhouse suitably sized for terrace or small city garden.

Local River is a home storage unit for fish and greens, a grow-your-own fish tank for the home. It is designed as a ' hassle free self-sufficient system' in which rainwater runs down the specially angled roof into a water tank that can store up to 300 litres of water.

cmm car photo

C, mm, n - open source hydrogen car

In the Energy and Economies section, the Energy Aware clock is included that monitors energy consumption in households. A London favourite, the solar shuttle boat is noted as well as the C, mm, n (pronounced common) - open source hydrogen car, designed by the dutch.

Cities promotes the theory that cities are more sustainable because of their density, so the foot print on the land is smaller. An example is the Masdar Development, the world's first carbon neutral city in Abu Dhabi. The California Academy of Science by Renzo Piano is a new green academy with a roof that is a hill.

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