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The Royal College of Art is collaborating with the Sustainable Markets Initiative to deliver the Terra Carta Design Lab, inviting students and recent alumni to develop credible and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.
About Terra Carta
His Majesty King Charles III, in his former role as HRH The Prince of Wales, launched the Terra Carta – a charter that puts sustainability at the heart of the private sector – as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative.
Marking 50 years of His Majesty campaigning for the environment, the Terra Carta offers the basis of a recovery plan to 2030 that puts Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation.
Deriving its name from the historic Magna Carta – which inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people over 800 years ago – the Terra Carta aims to reunite people and planet by giving fundamental rights and value to nature, ensuring a lasting impact and tangible legacy for this generation.
Terra Carta Design Lab
Announced in July 2021, His Majesty King Charles III, in his former role as HRH The Prince of Wales, and Sir Jony Ive, Chancellor of the RCA and former Chief Design Officer at Apple, launched the Terra Carta Design Lab in partnership with the RCA.
The initiative has since invited some of the world’s most talented design students to design high-impact, low-cost solutions for Nature, People and Planet.
Terra Carta Design Lab 2023/24
Following on from the global success of the 2022 edition, the Royal College of Art is partnering for a second time with the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Terra Carta Design Lab, to discover student led, high impact solutions to the climate crisis.
The Sustainable Markets Initiative is inviting students and recent alumni (who have graduated in the last five years) from the RCA and three other prestigious international design schools to address the devastating damage being done to our planet and create breakthrough solutions for Nature, People and Planet, inspired by its guiding mandate – the Terra Carta.
This year’s Design Lab has expanded its reach to also partner with Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (UAE), National Institute of Design Ahmedabad (India) and Rhode Island School of Design (USA).
In February 2022, 20 teams of RCA students and recent alumni were shortlisted from 125 submissions. Representing all four Schools of the College, the projects proposed a wide range of solutions to key environmental challenges – from creating circular materials and processes, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging corporate sustainability through responsive art.
The winning projects were selected by the Terra Carta Design Lab Grand Jury – comprising of HRH The King (in his former role The Prince of Wales), Sir Jony Ive, Dr Paul Thompson (Vice-Chancellor of the RCA), and representatives of the Terra Carta Design Lab partners.
Each team received £50,000 to help further develop their ideas, as well as mentoring from Sir Jony Ive and members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative global network.
Discover the winning teams below – click on the project name to find out more about each solution.
Aerseeds, aerodynamic nutrient and seed pods made from food waste, that work with nature to accelerate regeneration up to 10 times.
The Tyre Collective, who are developing the first patent-pending device to capture tyre wear at the wheel, accelerating the shift to zero-emission mobility.
ZELP (Zero Emissions Livestock Project),a wearable device for cattle to neutralise methane emissions in real time.
Alongside the four overall winners, two further projects were voted highly commendable by the Terra Carta Design Lab Grand Jury and will receive £10,000 in funding to help develop their ideas, as well as mentoring from InnovationRCA, the RCA’s centre for entrepreneurship and business support.
The two highly commended projects are:
OR:BITAL BLOOM, a data-driven artwork which ‘blooms’ in response to corporate and organisational adherence to sustainability targets and carbon emission reductions.
Shellworks, creating a plastic free future by working with bacteria to produce materials that are truly compostable, aesthetic, performant and cost competitive.
Exhibition and events
An exhibition showcasing work by the 20 Terra Carta Design Lab finalists ran from 28 April to 12 May 2022 at the RCA’s Dyson Gallery.
Visitors to the Terra Carta Design Lab Exhibition were able to discover each project grouped according to the solutions they propose: 'Matter', 'Care for Ourselves & Our Planet' and 'Energy'.
Participants in the Terra Carta Design Lab were also invited to COP26 in November 2021, where they were able to present their ideas to HRH The Prince of Wales, Sir Jony Ive and representatives of the Sustainable Markets Initiative.
The Terra Carta Design Lab is led by HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive, in partnership with the Royal College of Art. The Terra Carta Design Lab forms part of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative.