MA Regenerative DesignUniversity of the Arts London
MA Regenerative Design
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About this program
In the context of a fast-accelerating climate and biodiversity emergency, sustainable design is not enough. To date, the integration of environmental considerations in the design process has largely focused on more efficient use of natural resources or the reduction of our environmental impact. Regenerative design goes further to restore and replenish what human activities have radically deteriorated.
With a fast-expanding human population, one million species at risk of extinction and a looming global climate shift, we need to transition towards a new culture of repair. Regenerative design is a rising discipline that incorporates principles of deep ecology and living system thinking and a fundamental understanding of planetary health to develop new design propositions that can help empower communities and restore our biodiversity and climate. Instead of perpetuating an anthropocentric mindset which leads to the depletion of our underlying life-support systems, regenerative design goes beyond sustainable and circular design principles to actively promote a multi-species approach in which humans and non-humans co-habit holistically.
The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:
- An honours degree in a relevant design subject area
- Or an equivalent EU/international qualification
And normally at least one year of professional experience.
English language requirements
IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
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Unit 1: Design for Life
Living Systems Approach to D
- In order to reach beyond the limitations and pitfalls of sustainable design, we need to shift how, what and why we design. Informed by deep ecology principles, living system thinking and scenarios for regenerative cultures, this unit deconstructs prior learning. It challenges you to re-evaluate your design practice with radical new lenses that embody living systems thinking and places biodiversity, climate, cultural and socio-economic equity at the heart of your creative process.
- By integrating knowledge, tools and methodologies from the fields of ecology and cultural anthropology, this unit will enable you to build the foundations of a holistic and regenerative design practice. The unit starts with a three-day workshop to build an online cohort dynamic by sharing cultural values, design tales and backgrounds as well as introduce the course ethos.
- The unit comprises a series of short design briefs combined with lectures, seminars, tutorials, group critiques and workshops. These design briefs will provide a creative canvas for you to experiment with new knowledge informed by planetary boundaries, permaculture, regenerative systems, biodiversity framework, climate research and science-based targets, nature conservation and rewilding, international frameworks and governance, cultural anthropology, decolonisation and indigenous methodologies, holism and ethics of care.
Unit 2 (Elective): Design with Permaculture Principles
Translating permaculture principles in design to address planetary challenges
- This unit is shared with other postgraduate courses at Central Saint Martins. You will work in interdisciplinary groups to respond to a global planetary challenge via a regenerative design lens. The challenge will be identified on an annual basis and the unit will start with a workshop to present and frame the design challenge.
Unit 3: Design for and with your local biosphere
Place-based action research
- In this unit you will research and develop an individual regenerative design brief related to your local biosphere and community via an action research project. You will explore how to adopt a multi-species approach to design where humans and non-humans can co-habit holistically. You will use living system thinking tools to frame a pertinent research question, establish a relevant network of stakeholders and develop experimental design work.
- This unit will include lectures and seminars on ecological, anthropological and design research tools, ethics, as well as new economic frameworks and business models (for example doughnut economics and the circular economy).
- At the end of this unit you will present your research proposal, situate your action research (including rationale, research methodology and stakeholder cartography) and map out the regenerative blueprint for your design practice in terms of biodiversity, climate and communties.
Unit 4: Design for regenerative futures
Regenerative design development and conclusions, evaluation and legacy
- In this concluding unit, you will use the research and outcomes produced in Unit 3 as a platform to develop a well-resolved final regenerative design project. You will also evaluate and forecast the holistic impact and regenerative legacy of your project in terms of planetary care.
- The unit will start with a knowledge-gathering sprint when students will come together for a three-day online workshop to share the outcomes of Unit 3, map regional knowledge for regeneraative design and generate a world view of key stakeholders based on their individual research and development. At the end of this Unit, you will submit an annotated design portfolio and a project presentation at an online public symposium.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.
Two years (60 weeks) Extended full-time
Please check the course pages on our website for most up to date fees information.
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About this institute
University of the Arts London
University of the Arts London (UAL) is ranked 2nd in the world for Art and Design according to the 2023 QS World University Rankings®, for the fifth year in a row. It has an international reputation in art, design, communication,...
Why study at University of the Arts London
With multiple sites across London, UAL offers endless opportunities to draw inspiration from this global creative hub.
- UAL has a track record for launching and furthering careers across the creative industries and beyond.
- Graduates are frequently shortlisted for national and global awards ranging from the Turner Prize to the Oscars.
- UAL is home to more than 2,400 postgraduate students.
- The university offers a wide range of theoretical and practice-based research programmes leading to a PhD or MPhil.
- UAL is ranked among the UK’s top research universities, with 83% of research conducted by UAL students and staff graded as world-leading.
- UAL has a diverse student community, with students drawn from over 130 countries across the globe.
- Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from London’s world-famous art galleries, museums and theatres.
- UAL’s dedicated support service offers useful advice for international students including guidance on funding, visa applications and accommodation.
University of the Arts London
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