Redesign for a sustainable future

What Design Can Do

Interview | Future concept | International | Material | Sustainable Design

Three creative activists speak out on the urgent need to redesign for a sustainable future. This week What Design Can Do launches a new video campaign for the Redesign Everything Challenge – featuring Borre Akkersdijk, Paola Antonelli, and Amanda Costa.

Borre Akkersdijk – Reducing consumption
We live in a world that’s bursting at the seams with stuff: households with a television in each room; city streets packed with idle cars; and dumpsters bloated with takeaway containers. This wouldn’t be such a problem if we weren’t draining the planet’s natural resources, or creating entire oceans of waste in the process. But the inconvenient truth is that we are — so much so that trash has become one of the most abundant materials on the planet. “We have mass overconsumption on everything”, says Borre Akkersdijk, textile innovator and creative director of ByBorre. “In 10 years we will look back at the time we are living in for the textile and product industry and we will wonder: what were we thinking?”

Paola Antonelli – Reconnecting with nature
Rising temperatures, melting ice caps and greenhouse gas emissions: these are the kinds of things that conversations about the climate tend to focus on. But although these variables tell us a lot about the ecological crisis we are facing — they aren’t the cause of the problem. They are symptoms of a broken system and disconnected masses. “A reconnection with nature is what is most urgent at this point,” says Paola Antonelli, senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Amanda Costa – Reimagining climate justice
Though climate change is a global problem, the worst impacts of our warming planet are not shared evenly across society. Building a better future means understanding how in many ways in which climate action is linked to social justice. “Redesigning the world can’t leave people behind,” asserts Amanda Costa, climate activist and content creator. She emphasizes the need to uplift marginalized communities and incorporate their perspectives into design solutions.

These interviews were filmed for the Redesign Everything Challenge, an open call organised by What Design Can Do in collaboration with the IKEA Foundation and other key partners including SECRID. This global design competition seeks creative solutions to address the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to a fair and circular future. Changemakers everywhere are invited to submit ideas to radically redesign the world we live in — our products, materials, stories, systems, services and spaces — through a circular and regenerative lens.

“To redesign everything we need everyone” explains WDCD co-founder and creative director Richard van der Laken. “This campaign encourages people to harness the power of creativity to navigate towards a more sustainable and fair future. Together, we can and will radically redesign the world we live in.”

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