A discarded bale of jeans, waiting to be recycled into Circulose — a new material made by recovering cotton from worn-out clothes for new garments.

Can design save the environment?

Until February 20, 2022, the London Design Museum presents the show "Waste Age: What can design do?

With representative examples from the various disciplines of design, the current exhibition "Waste Age: What can design do?" at the London Design Museum is divided into three sections: Waste Age 1-3" vividly conveys the fatal consequences mass consumption has had on the environment so far, how supposed waste can be given a new lease of life and which experimental approaches could help to make products from sustainable resources. Many of the works come from renowned creatives, such as Formafantasma, Snøhetta or Stella McCartney. "Design has helped create our wasteful society, and it will be crucial in building a cleaner future. That means rethinking the lifestyles and materials that do so much damage. This optimistic exhibition demonstrates the energy and ingenuity being applied to the challenge – and we want it to mark a turning point. There is so much we can do, but it begins with understanding our waste," says Chief Curator and Co-Curator Justin McGuirk.

The museum itself will also be assessed for its ecological impact: Sophie Thomas and Alexie Sommer from the environmental organisation Urge Collective, together with data analyst Ralf Waterfield, will conduct an environmental audit of the exhibition and the associated resource consumption. This should help to better assess the impact of museum shows at the London Design Museum and offer opportunities for optimisation. The exhibition is also part of the Future Observatory, a new programme of the Design Museum and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The national research, discussion and training programme aims to explore how design research can support the UK's future economic progress. "We must face the problem of waste – we can no longer ignore what happens to things when we get rid of them. Instead of thinking of objects as things that have an end life, this exhibition proposes that they can have many lives. This is not just an exhibition it is a campaign #EndTheWasteAge, and we all have an active part in our future. The exhibition will show design is at the forefront of sustainable solutions," says Gemma Curtin, curator of Waste Age. (am)

Waste Age: What can design do?
Until 20 February 2022

The Design Museum
224-238 Kensington High Street
London W8 6AG

Waste Age: What can design do?