Design education should respond to the emerging conditions and limitations placed on our societies by climate change. We cannot afford to treat creative thinking and making as if the sky was blue or the box empty.

This is fertile ground for radical creative thinking but the responsibility and solutions currently lie in the hands of financial institutions, engineers, architects, digital platforms and policy makers who all struggle to make sense of how to engage with citizens. What if creative people were immersed in their world, able to help, to contribute? This is what we’ll try out.

The Low Carbon Design Institute is a 2 week residency running from July 6th to 19th 2020.

A radical learning experience it is aimed at creative individuals of all ages and backgrounds who are looking to learn more about climate change in order to impact their practice profoundly.

The program mixes different modes of learning: talks, group discussions, on-site visits, walks, learning by making, and individual work.

The program ends with an exhibition showcasing the work developed by participants in response to what they have learnt.

The program is free but limited to 20 participants.

Apply now

Deadline May 1st 2020.



This will continue to be updated until mid-March.

Week 1


Net Zero Architecture by Woods Bagot

Adaptive Architecture by Simone Ferracina

Repair by The Restart Project

Food production & waste by Big Barn UK

Carbon trading with Rachel Jones



A nuclear power plant and a wind farm at an EDF site (location TBC)

Veolia Integrated Waste Management site in Souwthwark.

A property being rewilded by Jeremy Rye Studio.



Carbon counting with Carbon Literacy Project

Weekend workshop exploring earth architecture with New Earth UK


Movie Nights

We’ll show 2 films which have covered climate change and complex systems. We’ll decide this as a group. Examples include An Inconvenient Truth, Baraka & We Feed The World.


Week 2 


Team or individual work to respond to Week 1. The work will be presented in a exhibition by the end of the week.

Exhibition Opening (16th, 6pm)

Exhibition opening for press and guests.

Public Exhibition (17th-18th 11am-5pm)

Exhibition open to the public, giving an opportunity to get the public to give feedback on the ideas. There will also be a public program of talks.

Goodbye (19th)

The long goodbye. A long walk somewhere nice, ending in a pub lunch. A time for feedback and reflexion.



You will be based in the UK or able to travel without a visa.

We’ll consider applications from anyone aged 18 and up.

The last day will be Sunday 19th and will end at 3pm.

We’ll make sure the two weeks is accessible to wheelchair users but some on-site factory visits may not.

All food on site will be vegetarian and vegan.

If selected, your meals, accommodation (if necessary), travel related to the program and materials will be covered.

You will have to pay for your own travel to get to and from the location of the pilot on the 6th and the 19th. If this a problem, please flag it in your application.

The program will be finalised on March 1st 2020.

Confirmations will be sent out on June 1st 2020.

If we don’t hear back from you to confirm by June 4th 2020 we’ll transfer the offer to someone else.

This is the brainchild of Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino who wrote a little more about it on her blog.

We’ll be tweeting the announcements out as we go. There is no newsletter.