Monday, 4 April 2011

striking an Accord part 2...

A couple of posts ago we had a week of events and visits which was very nice indeed. One of these visits was to the first ever UK Town Hall meet up of the Designers Accord, run with the assistance of the University of Brighton and the Sustainable Design MA students.

So - what actually is the Designers Accord?

well - as quoted on the main Designers Accord website, here is the foundation of the group:

In late June 2007, the Designers Accord was founded with the goal of changing the way the creative community does business. Designers, educators, and business leaders adopted a “Kyoto Treaty” of design (later renamed the Designers Accord) that specified a particular ethos and behavior around sustainable design. The underlying philosophy of this agreement was that by collectively building our intelligence around issues of climate change and humanitarian issues – and tackling those challenges with optimism and creativity – we would catalyze innovative and sustainable problem solving throughout the creative community.

Makes perfect sense to me. As a fully committed subscriber to the 'sustainability in design is the only was forward' movement, this is what I live and breathe. This is why I design and how I design.

Since that time, the Designers Accord has grown massively, with individuals committing to becoming a supporter, organisations committing to becoming and endorser and design firms committing to becoming Adopters. After seeing first hand the energy passed around the group at the first UK meeting, I was keen to sign up the studio to the Designers Accord as an official Adopter. And I am glad to say that we were approved.

So what exactly have we adopted? Well - we have committed to follow the follow Designers Code:

Guidelines for Design Firm Adopters

  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.

  2. Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with each and every client. Rework client contracts to favor environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design

  3. Undertake a program to educate your teams about sustainability and sustainable design

  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your firm, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.

  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

This is what we try and do at all times, and have done since the inception of the practice in 2008, that is, all apart from number one, which is what we are starting here.

you can view our official adopters listing here along with the other adopters around the world.

As an individual our influence can be small, but as a collective, the possibilities are endless.

Watch this space for further news on the Brighton group and our other Designers Accord activities...