NewsClimate declaration from interior design sector calls for ‘paradigm shift’ in behaviour

A group of interior designers has issued a statement demanding collective action to confront the climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Avatar Content Team4 weeks ago8 min

A group of influential interior design practices have joined forces to launch ‘Interior Design Declares’, as part of Construction Declares, calling on everyone “working in the design and construction industry” to adopt a “paradigm shift in behaviour” over climate change.

The nine interior design firms behind the ‘Interior Design Declares’ clarion call to the interior design industry are: Absolute Project Management, Designed by Woulfe, Elemental Studio, Helen Bainbridge Interior Design, Materialise Interiors, MCM, Oliver Heath Design, Persona Abode Interiors and Studio Suss.

The group has issued the following statement demanding collective action to confront the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

“Interior design is an intrinsic part of the building and construction industry,” says Simone Suss of Studio Suss, a founding signatory. “As individuals, it’s easy to feel that we are powerless to effect positive change but, as an industry collective, if we can adjust our practices and behaviours, and those of our clients and the supply chain, then we can bring about constructive change for the better.

“Interior Design Declares demonstrates that UK interior designers care about the environment, our future and the future of the planet. We urge the industry to join with us and support this initiative. Together, we can make a difference.”

‘Transformation now’

Together with clients, signatories to the Declaration will need to commission and design spaces within buildings as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

“The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now,” says Simone Suss. “but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to design spaces with a more positive impact on the world around us.”

Interior Design Declares has established a clear manifesto for positive change: 

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
  • Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
  • Share knowledge and research to that end on an open-source basis.
  • Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  • Work towards including life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  • Work with others in the construction industry to upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  • Act to address the disproportionate impact of these crises on disadvantaged communities and ensure that all mitigation and adaptation efforts address the needs of all people.
  • Ensure diverse and inclusive principles are implemented in hiring and retaining staff so that people of all backgrounds can participate in decision-making about the future of the designed environment.
  • Request 3rd party certification or similar demonstration of environmental provenance and impact for each product specified.
  • Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing spaces which go beyond the standard of net zero carbon, including the specification of ultra-low energy appliances.
  • Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work. Seek to reuse and recycle products and materials at every available opportunity.
  • Minimise wasteful use of resources in interior design, both in quantum and in detail. Collaborate with all members of the industry to further reduce construction and packaging waste.

UK-based interior design practices are invited to find out more information and support ‘Interior Design Declares’ click here.

Associated suppliers can also be signatories on condition that they have an environmental statement on their website. #interiordesigndeclares. Information on Construction Declares is available here.

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Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

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