Terra Carta Design Lab announces finalists

HRH Prince Charles and Jony Ive, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, announce the 20 finalists of the Terra Carta Design Lab

Floating carbon bubbles
(Image credit: press)

HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive’s Terra Carta Design Lab has announced the 20 finalists chosen to develop design-led solutions to the climate crisis. Launched in July 2021, the Terra Carta Design Lab was spearheaded by Prince Charles and Jony Ive in collaboration with the Royal College of Art (RCA). Each shortlisted team will be expected to further develop their proposals and submit them to the Terra Carta Design Lab Grand Jury in spring 2022, after which four winning teams will be offered the opportunity to be mentored by Jony Ive and introduced to the industry leads of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, as well as receiving financial support. 

'The Design Lab is a visionary and imaginative way of helping address the increasingly urgent climate crisis – the greatest design challenge we face,’ says Ive. ‘This work demonstrates the ingenuity and creative brilliance of RCA students, and I am so very excited to see these concepts develop.'

Terra Carta Design Lab finalists

Collected materials separated by colour

Material samples by Shellworks

(Image credit: press)

The 20 shortlisted projects were selected based on innovation, technical feasibility, potential for impact, as well as their alignment with one of the ten themes of the Terra Carta – energy in industry and buildings; natural capital, including agriculture, land use, forestry and oceans; mobility and road transport; fashion and textiles; health systems; technology; waste; plastic, chemicals and petrochemicals; aviation; and shipping. 

The shortlist includes Zelp, an innovative device worn by cattle to reduce methane emissions; the Resting Reef, an eco-friendly funeral service that aims to regenerate marine biodiversity, sequestering carbon and preventing coastal erosion; and the Race for the Arctic, an adventure game that lets players experience climate catastrophe and work to create a more positive future. 

Race for the arctic art work

Race for the Arctic.

(Image credit: Image by Episode Studio)

Software-based projects also feature on the shortlist, such as inC2, a platform built on the blockchain that helps companies track, analyse and reduce their supply chain emissions; and Carbon Counting Club, a system that uses blockchain technology to bring trust, transparency and rigour to the carbon offset market.

Among the chosen designs are also a series of material innovations, such as an alternative to plastic that is currently being tested as a solution for the beauty and personal care industry, developed by Shellworks (a former Wallpaper* Re-Made collaborator); and the Notpla Seaweed Paper Project, an alternative to wood-based paper and cardboard with comparable performance and cost. 

‘This shortlist shows the potent alchemy of bringing together the arts and sciences to tackle urgent global challenges,’ comments Paul Thompson, vice-chancellor of the Royal College of Art. ‘The variety and viability of these 20 projects is testament to the talent, innovation and dedication of our students and alumni to solve real world problems affecting communities around the world.’

Terra Carta Resting Reef advertisement

Resting Reef

(Image credit: press)

Woman holding a drone with patterned light shining on her

Swerve, a project that starts from contemporary art practice to investigate radically different and ethical ways we can engage with contemporary technology, including aviation technology, drone storytelling, artificial intelligence (AI), neurotechnology, the metaverse and NFTs to support environmental sustainability 

(Image credit: press)

Black head device for cow

Zelp, a wearable device for cows to reduce methane emissions

(Image credit: press)

Woman wearing white recycled hoodie outdoors

Amphitext, a 100 per cent recyclable waterproof, breathable textile developed for the outdoor and sportswear industry

(Image credit: press)

Patterned grey material

Home Grown, a bio-based touchpad to address the issue of e-waste whilst promoting local resources, craft and communities

(Image credit: press)

Beauty product and bathroom containters

Shellworks’ materials used for beauty packaging

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Hand holding a piece of blackened material

The Tyre Collective’s project is based on research around tyre wear, the second largest microplastic pollutant in our environment. A clean-tech start-up spearheading the capture and monitoring of tyre wear, The Tyre Collective aims at accelerating the shift towards zero-emission mobility with a device to capture tyre wear right at the wheel, which can be upcycled into various applications, creating a closed-loop system

(Image credit: press)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.