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Circular Design Lab 2019

Maxwell Mutanda British Council

British Council

Maxwell Mutanda
Naa Obeye  British Council

British Council

Naa Obeye
Mamy Tall British Council

British Council

Mamy Tall
Matthew Edwards British Council

British Council

Matthew Edwards
Betty Beenzu Chilonde British Council

British Council

Betty Beenzu Chilonde
Mahendra Gooroochurn British Council

British Council

Mahendra Gooroochurn
Wacy Zacarias British Council

British Council

Wacy Zacarias
Yegwa Ukpo British Council

British Council

Yegwa Ukpo
Isatu Harrison British Council

British Council

Isatu Harrison
Vanessa Nsona British Council

British Council

Vanessa Nsona

The Circular Design Lab was developed in 2018 by British Council and Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Conceived as a way of actively exploring the future of making through a multi-disciplinary, international programme focusing on Circular Design.

The Circular Design Lab 2019  saw makers, designers and creative entrepreneurs working across architecture, design and fashion, from ten countries in Sub Saharan Africa convene in London, for a week of design workshops and creative exchange. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Design Guide formed the guiding framework of the week’s activity, complemented by a series of exploratory workshops led by the UK design industry including Ma-tter, Community 21, Open Cell and Raeburn. The programme explored how principals of the circular economy can be a catalyst for creativity, collaboration and regenerative thinking within architecture, design and fashion practice. 

Designed to unlock new circular design opportunities through crosscultural collaboration and international exchange, the lab lead to a series of follow-on projects in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and to a series of films commissioned by the British Council as part of the programme. 

The series spotlighted conversations between members of the 2019 Circular Design Lab cohort as they discussed the role of design in the building of a circular economy in relation to their own practice and research. Aiming to give visual form to conversations, the concepts were brought to life by bespoke motion graphics designed and developed by London-based Stefan Iyapah and set within a 'desktop' style format to evoke the nature of contemporary, international collaboration.  

You can watch the films through the blog posts below and also on the British Arts Youtuve channel here. 

About Ellen MacArthur Foundation: 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. Design is vital in the transition to the circular economy. It’s through design that we can address the root causes of today’s economic, social, and environmental challenges,
rather than just treating the symptoms.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circular design programme aims to empower designers, architects, and entrepreneurs to create products, services and systems that are fit for a circular economy. Together with a global network of organisations and
institutions, we want to make circular design the new normal by engaging millions of designers and creators who impact material flows in their work. To do this, the
Foundation creates inspiring stories of circular design in action, develops tools and resources to empower individuals, and builds networks that enable designers
to experiment, developing their thinking through practice and feedback.

Making Matters: Wacy Zacarias and Yegwa Ukpo in Conversation

20 October 2020

The success of circularity relies on a local approach to design, materials and manufacture. How can we step away from the global vision of modernity and utilise the resources unique to each city, town, district, country or continent? 

Watch and listen, as Wacy Zacarias, a designer and traditional healer based in Mozambique and Yegwa Ukpo, a designer and curator with a focus on alternate futures based in Nigeria, discuss the ways in which we can begin to differentiate ourselves - through design - from the linear global narrative that dominates design, materiality and changing the perspective on what contemporary design both looks and feels like. 

We commissioned this series as part of our Circular Design Labs which we develop in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Both Wacy and Yegwa were part of the 2019 cohort.

To find out more about this initiative which runs within our Making Matters programme, click here.

Follow Wacy here, here and here

Follow Yegwa here and here