Top art schools in India, UAE, UK and US join initiative to support student-led climate solutions

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Students and recent alumni of four leading art and design universities around the globe will soon be able to propose creative, ambitious solutions to the climate crisis, with two proposals from each school receiving funding and mentorship.

The four schools—Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, National Institute of Design Ahmedabad, the Royal College of Art (RCA) and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)—are joining the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Design Lab, an initiative launched by King Charles III (while he was still Prince of Wales) and designer Jony Ive, in partnership with the RCA.

Current students and alumni who graduated in the past five years will be eligible to submit proposals to be reviewed by experts at each school, and shortlists of ten proposals from each institution will then be assessed by an international panel led by Ive. In the end, two student proposals from each school will be selected to receive funding, and their creators will be provided with mentorship. The winners will be announced in the autumn of 2024.

King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) examines the Tyre Collective, one of the winning projects of the previous edition of the Terra Carta Design Lab, which captures tyre wear, a large source of the world’s microplastics Courtesy Sustainable Markets Initiative

“It is incredibly rewarding to see an even broader group of students use deep creative collaboration to develop thoughtful ways of tackling the multifaceted challenges of the climate crisis,” Ive, who also serves as the RCA’s chancellor, said in a statement.

RISD president Crystal Williams, in a statement, described the initiative as “an important opportunity to help elevate and include voices and people who have been historically underrepresented in conversations about sustainability and the climate crisis. Including a range of perspectives and experiences—particularly from those most immediately affected by these challenges—catalyses new insights, new discoveries and new solutions that benefit us all.”

The four projects selected in the inaugural edition of the Terra Carta Design Lab in 2022—which included a wearable methane-reducing device for cows and aerodynamic seed pods made from food waste—have raised £18m in funding to date. The initiative aims to connect rising generations of artists and designers with private-sector support by way of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s member network.

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