The London Design Festival is an annual event that takes place in the capital of the United Kingdom. It promotes London as a pioneering design capital worldwide, and this year the festival celebrated its 20th anniversary! ‘Arup’ was an important partner this year and was involved in many activities and projects. Arup’s Foresight team presented an exhibition on the topic of ‘Regenerative Future’. The team explored what a regenerative society might look like in the future. They showcased their explorations through a series of props from designers and researchers working on regenerative design themselves.
“The concept of regenerative design calls for a long-term transformation to reconcile the needs of people with those of the planet by rethinking and redesigning the world around us. ” And that’s exactly what Arup has achieved: they have created designs that help people and nature to coexist seamlessly. Other regenerative companies featured in the exhibition included: EOOS NEXT, Blast Studio, Lulu Harrison, Rachel Horton-Kitchlew, Green&Blue, SPACE10 and Studio MOM.
Arup and Studio MOM have teamed up to create MyHelmet – a bio-production of mycelium. In Arup’s imagined regenerative future, Mycelium has become incredibly popular and its market has even surpassed that of concrete! The global mycelium market is estimated at $6.17 trillion this year and will reach $9.72 trillion by 2070. This helmet shows the versatility of this material. Mycelium has found enormous functionality in fashion, food, product design and even the built environment!
The Blast Studio created the ‘Coral Lamp’ from waste coffee cups! Since the ‘Stop-single-use’ campaigns to ban single-use coffee cups have not worked in the past, this waste stream will be used as a valuable raw material in the future. Turning coffee cups into beautiful lamps has demonstrated the reusability and potential of an otherwise harmful material.
The BeeBrick, designed by Green&Blue, is a safe urban nest for solitary bees. In the future, designers will regard plants, animals and large natural systems as actual ‘users’ of their design. Rules and policies require products such as BeeBrick to be included in all new builds. This policy now provides habitats for all local wildlife!
In the future, Augmented Reality technology will be even further developed – allowing physical and virtual environments to merge seamlessly, via a display mode called ‘Mirrorworlds’. Foresight at Arup created these AR goggles that allow designers to interact with nature and receive real-time feedback while conducting fieldwork! With the AR technology developed, designers can easily understand contextual, nature-based data, enabling them to deliver more net positive results.
EOOS NEXT designed an emission-free commercial vehicle that is used daily by commuters as a means of transport. It is 3D printed from plastic waste. When not using public transportation, commuters travel by bicycle or electric small-sized vehicle (EVs). This has reduced personal carbon emissions by 60-70%, enabling huge savings on carbon credit for individuals and small businesses.
Foresight, also designed, a ‘Dragonfly’. This Dragonfly functions as an autonomous data collection machine. No one really pays any attention to them in the future. They are simply considered to be living organisms busy at work! They are used in nature-based solutions to collect data and deliver it to regenerative designers so they can use it for their fieldwork. These dragonflies also monitor changes and warn of biological hazards.