By signing Design Declares, designers commit to tackling climate action

The new campaign asks designers to commit to reducing their climate impact, offering a toolkit full of actionable steps to make it a reality.

Date
22 September 2022

Launched on 21 September, a new campaign is urging the entire design industry to declare a climate emergency. To generate commitment, accountability, and action, Design Declares asks both freelance designers and those working for a company to sign its online declaration. All signatories recognise the climate emergency and commit to the Eight Acts of Emergency that Design Declares outlines as starting points for change. Initially founded by Morrama and creative group Urge Collective, the initiative has since received the support of the Design Council and other organisations, including Driftime, Snook, Studio Wood, and Thomas.Matthews.

After signing, signatories will have their declaration and name published on the Design Declares website and will receive a toolkit to help action the Eight Acts Design Declares proposes. From “sounding the alarm” to “bringing clients with you”, each of the steps is broken down into more manageable steps that signatories can tick off once actioned. To help with these sub-steps, such as “speaking to your employer about getting your organisation to sign up to Design Declares”, the toolkit offers helpful supporting materials, like template letters. Each of the Eight Acts also includes questions to prompt deeper engagement with the action and a folder of supporting tools and insights – ranging from websites, articles, books available for purchase and free documents to help you understand the Act fully. Those unable to sign the declaration can also access the toolkit via the campaign site.

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Copyright © Design Declares, 2022

Though the toolkit includes a range of resources already, Design Declares hopes to create what it describes as a “living and breathing document”, with volunteers continually adding resources as the campaign grows. Design Declares is accepting submissions on how to make the resources more valuable at toolkit@designdeclares.com.

For those considering signing up, Design Declares explains in the release: “There is no requirement to already have policies and action plans in place, but there is an understanding that by signing you are committing towards an improvement in the reduction of your climate impact.” Abb-d Taiyo, co-founder of Driftime, continues: “There is a wealth of information and resources out there, that designers often don’t know where to start. We want to offer guidance, accessible tools, and frameworks for change that help designers build their knowledge and empower them further.”

Alexie Sommer, design and communications director of Urge Collective, adds: “If this year’s heatwaves aren’t enough to engage the design industry that there’s work to be done, then try to imagine what it’s going to be like in ten years’ time. We need to create an alternative and positive version of the future through design, and the time to do it is now.”

GalleryCopyright © Design Declares, 2022

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Copyright © Design Declares, 2022

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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