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Sustainability and climate emergency

Digital image of sculpture of leaves and rocks floating against a sky background
Digital image of sculpture of leaves and rocks floating against a sky background
Luis Guttierez Rico, MA Graphic Communication Design, Plant Eden

We are committed to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency.

Our relationship with the planet's resources calls for urgent and lasting change. If the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets with be required to sustain current lifestyles.

Artists and designers are uniquely placed to meet these challenges. All forms of creative practice combine the ability to imagine new futures with the means to deliver them. Our work isn't defined simply by what we produce, but what comes before and after – how those things are made and how they are used.

We understand that the world is shaped through creative action.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency

Designing the Future

Leading courses

Sustainability stories

  • Grow your own phone accessories

    Welcome to the near-future designed by MA Material Futures students Rūta Irbīte and Liene Kazaka in response to a brief from Three.

  • Class of 2020: Waste at Work

    From unwanted food to industrial byproducts, we are producing waste at an alarming rate. Many of our graduating students are rethinking waste as raw material and here, we speak to just a few of them.

  • Class of 2020: Mia Karren

    Graduating from BA Textile Design, Mia Karren shares her experience living in an isolated Airstream caravan with no running water and making her own tools for her final project exploring the meaning of shelter.

  • Class of 2020: Nature Speaks

    As the climate emergency emphasises just how dysfunctional our collective relationship with nature truly is, we take a look at graduating work – spanning from a biocomputer to a gull costume – that gives nature a voice.

College projects

  • People sittign and standing in a red-lit room full of dry ice
    Ca-cough-any (2017) A performance protest by PDP students as part of Greenweek 2017 instigated by a workshop on CLEAN AIR with Greenpeace,
    Plural Futures

    A series of co-design workshops questioning existing practices and imagine future possibilities

  • Photograph of a brick building


    An annual series of public debates chaired by Oliver Wainwright for the Spatial Practices programme

  • Hand holding material samples
    Material Library (photo: Alys Tomlinson)
    Materials and Products Collection

    A resource of innovative materials reflecting the trends in manufacturing

  • back of a studio with shelves, tables, chairs and material lying around
    Image: Paul Cochrane
    MAKE @ Story Garden

    A public space for creative collaboration with, and by, the local community

  • A series of pastel and neon shapes, arrows and squiggles on a purple background

    Alternative Futures

    Organised by the Culture and Enterprise programme, exploring what ethical circular practice looks like, and how it might change our relationship to objects, people and ourselves

  • Sean T. Ross' Solar Forge
    A close up of MA Material Futures student Sean T. Ross' Solar Forge created for the Swarovski Conscious Design project. Image: Bruce Basudde
    Swarovski Conscious Design Hub

    A lasting, free resource for designers championing creativity and collaboration as a driving force for sustainable development, delivered in partnership with the Jewellery, Textiles and Materials programme

Sustainability at UAL

  • Sustainability at UAL  

    Explore UAL's commitment and engagement with sustainability

  • Grey to Green, London College of Communication UAL event.
    Grey to Green, London College of Communication UAL event.
    Green League success

    UAL jumps 25 places to 19th in the UK's Green League ranking universities by ethical and environmental criteria

  • UAL Carbon dashboard  

    Take a look at our electricity, gas and water consumption, and waste production

Climate Emergency in Research

  • Abstract digital image, resembles grey clouds or smoke over a dark background
    Image courtesy of Tom Corby
    Materializing Data, Embodying Climate Change

    Changing our experiences of climate change by encountering data in physical forms

  • Living Systems Lab

    Exploring biological living systems to develop new ecological knowledge through creative practices

  • Photograph of dyed textures that look like fish skin
    Tokushima indigo dye museum, Indigo dyeing on fish skin. Image taken by Takayuki Ishii, 2019

    Developing a new category of raw material for fashion – fish leather