AHRC Design Exchange Partnerships: Design the Green Transition

Closing Date: 30/11/2022

Funding available to develop design-led solutions to specific challenges facing UK coastal and island communities in relation to realising green transition goals.

AHRC is seeking to explore the potential of design thought leadership for the green transition through the establishment of a national Design Exchange Partnerships (DEPs) network. Building upon the successes of the pilot cohort, the first full round of DEPs will comprise up to twenty distinct but complementary design-led projects addressing specific challenges in the context of coastal and island communities

DEPs will connect directly with the wider Future Observatory: design the green transition programme, including but not limited to the engagement hub based at the Design Museum.

DEPs are three-way collaborative projects which seek to demonstrate tangible impact on local communities by stimulating the real-world application of high quality arts and humanities-led design research to address challenges related to achieving green transition goals. DEPs aim to:

  • Stimulate strategic partnerships that support career development and the development of hybrid skills
  • Increase the diversity of voices and actors consulted in and contributing to addressing the climate crisis
  • Enable the development of new products and services that have a positive impact in the real-world.

For this round, AHRC are focusing on the green transition challenges faced by the UK’s island and coastal communities. In particular, they are keen to see this in places where investment can make the biggest difference to everyday life, for example, areas that experience high levels of poverty and deprivation, or that otherwise suffer from:

  • Stunted productivity
  • Lack of employment opportunities
  • Poor community cohesion
  • Lack of local agency.

Projects may focus on any challenges or areas that will support progress towards green transition goals, including but not limited to any combination of:

  • Human, such as improving the design and delivery of green initiatives to more effectively support behaviour change
  • Technical, such as design or development of new low or zero carbon building solutions
  • Economic or commercial, such as redesign of markets to reduce costs
  • Structural, such as infrastructure planning and decarbonisation provision.

The project should demonstrate human-centred design research processes. Applicants can include activities to:

  • Develop high-value innovation opportunities and define what makes a desirable, fit-for-purpose solution
  • Create ideas for new or significantly improved products or services
  • Test and improve ideas by using fast, low-cost visuals, prototypes or simulations
  • Clearly communicate ideas ready for further investment, and research and development activity
  • Understand human motivations and behaviour through, for example, observation, interviews, role-play and workshops.

Projects should demonstrate clear pathways to measurable outcomes of benefit to all partners both within the 12-month project period and beyond.

Funding body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Maximum value £40,000
Reference ID S24250
Category Arts and Humanities
Fund or call Fund