Today marks the first day of this year’s Conference of Parties (COP) where the leaders of 196 nations will descend on Paris in an effort to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. At FutureAir, we’ll be keeping a close eye on all things #COP21.
In the name of climate, at the end of September, our founders – Ross Lovegrove and Simone Rothman – were invited to London to participate in a Disegno No.9 roundtable titled 2°C. The roundtable brought together several designers who participated in a Disegno No.9 residency that examined the way in which climate change is communicated.
Roundtable participants: Hannah Carter Owers (Universal Design Studio), Jessica Charlesworth (Parsons & Charlesworth), Ilona Gaynor (The Department of No), Ross Lovegrove (FutureAir and Ross Lovegrove Studio), Tim Parsons (Parsons & Charlesworth), Luke Pearson (PearsonLloyd), Simone Rothman (FutureAir), Cathrin Walczyk (Universal Design Studio)
Disegno No.9 asked the twelve leading designers and participants the following question. Here are the FutureAir team’s answers.
What are the problems with how climate change is communicated at the moment?
Ross Lovegrove Climate change is not a fashion or a trend, it’s a fundamental part of life. When you work as a designer and visit all sorts of factories and fairs, you become very sensitive to the vast scale at which things are produced, which causes a dilemma. Industry is both good and evil. It’s there to improve life, but I still don’t know where all this stuff goes. But how can we influence the people we work with? Commerce and shares are often a big negative because they drive the wrong value system. A lot of the things we may talk about here don’t always go down well when you’re talking to producers who are not doing so well as to be able to invest in things that might affect their profitability.
Simone Rothman I don’t think we can design our way out of this problem. Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006, which seems a while ago in the scheme of things and a lot more damage has been done since then. There is a lot of discussion right now in the U.S. about the root of the problem and how we got where we are today, a lot of which is political. There is an amazing book by Naomi Klein called This Changes Everything, which is really about how our climate problem could actually be the solution to the next wave of capitalism. There are solutions out there, but we’re stuck in a system that doesn’t allow them to be implemented. It’s a really scary time right now and I don’t think people fully realise how scary it is yet.
More about the 2°C roundtable can be found here or in the Autumn/Winter 2015 issue on stands now.