London Met academic awarded Design for Planet Fellowship

Torange Khonsari is one of nine experts selected by the Design Council in recognition of their track records in making multi-disciplinary, cross-sector and community connections.

Date: 13 December 2021

London Met's Torange Khonsari has been awarded a Design for Planet Fellowship, an initiative led by the Design Council which has been made possible through National Lottery funding. 

The Fellowships bring together nine experts from different disciplines who are working at the cutting edge of sustainability and regenerative design. Each Fellow has been selected for their track record in making multi-disciplinary, cross-sector and community connections, spotting emerging opportunities to catalyse change. 

Torange is one of the original co-founders of the art and architecture practice public works. She has been a senior lecturer in architecture at London Met since 2000 and is currently a course leader for the post graduate programs and research on Design for Cultural Commons. The direct two-way communication between academia and practice has enabled and enriched an exploratory environment within which her expertise is now positioned. 

Alongside Torange, the other Design for Planet Fellows are:

  • Dr Tayo Adebowale, Director, Cirkadia.
  • Araceli Camargo, Lab Director and Co-Founder, Centric Lab.
  • Professor Carole Collet, Co-Director, Living Systems Lab, Central Saint Martins, UAL.
  • Sarah Drinkwater, Angel Investor and Advisor.
  • Finn Harries, Co-Founder and Chief Designer, Earthrise Studio.
  • Nat Hunter, Director, Other Today.
  • John Thackara, Writer, Curator and Visiting Professor at Tongji University.
  • Josie Warden, Head of Regenerative Design, RSA

The Fellows will spend seven months prototyping new ways of working, building knowledge and creating recommendations to inform climate & biodiversity action, and shining a light on the important role design plays in connecting people together from across disciplines and communities. Themes including designing adaptive and resilient places, conserving and restoring natural resources and systems, and making it easy and attractive to live regeneratively will be explored

Design Council, the UK's national strategic advisors for design, will publish monthly findings and recommendations from monthly sessions with the Fellows. A report will be released in September 2022. It will weave together insights from the workshops and provide practical guidance and references for those working in climate action and design in the UK.

The Design for Planet Fellowship is part of Design Council's ambitious new approach to galvanise and support the UK's 1.69 million-strong design community to address the climate crisis.

Bernard Hay, Programme Lead for Design at Design Council said: "A wealth of designers are already creating new technologies, partnerships and ways of working with communities to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency. However, a lot of climate action still tends to happen in silos. We want to break down these barriers through the Design for Planet Fellowship and celebrate the role design can play in bridging disciplines and sectors to create new opportunities for change."

He continues, "At Design Council, we welcome the Fellows, each of whom are bridge builders and ‘knowledge weavers'. Through their work, we can encourage people to move more quickly, bravely and ambitiously than if they were working alone. The climate and biodiversity emergency means we need to act with urgency. Learning from each other is a crucial way to start doing that."


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