Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, 17-25 November 2007
Guangzhou Jinhan Exhibition Centre, 29 November - 1 December
Grandview Plaza, Guangzhou, 5-16 December
College City Arts Museum of Guangzhou Art College, 20-30 December
Paradise Walk Shopping Mall, Chongqing, 11 January - 28 February 2008

flickriconMore on Flickr

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Climate Cool By Design was an exhibition of 70 innovative designs from the UK, highlighting links between design and climate change. Curated by [re]design for British Council China, Climate Cool offered a fresh look at the issue of climate change, how UK designers are responding to the challenge, and how we can all make a difference through what we buy and do.

Sustainable behaviour and sustainable design were explored through nine Climate Cool Top Tips:

REDUCE IT How can you get better outcomes with smaller inputs?

REUSE IT How can re-use help you maximise the value of what you buy?

RECYCLE IT What can your waste be transformed into?

POWER IT How can you tap into free sources of energy?

BUY GREEN How can your actions and buying choices help keep the natural world in balance?

BUY LOCAL What can you find close to home?

MAKE IT Who created the things you own? Could you do better?

PERSONALISE IT How can you make your stuff unique?

LOVE IT How can you build enduring relationships with the things you own?

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Aaron Moore
Anna Bullus
Anya Hindmarch / We Are What We Do
Barley Massey
Constantinos Economides
David Stovell
Eleanor Akers
Freeplay Energy
Giles Miller
Hannah Lobley
Jessica Martin
Jonathan Attenborough, Jason Finch
and Oliver Bishop-Young
Junky Styling
Keep & Share
Kirsty Kirkpatrick
Laura Anne Marsden
Lost And Found
Lost Values / Distance Lab
Lucy Moose
Lynn Kingelin Design Studio
Mark Liu
Moixa Energy
Neda Niaraki
Old Kitchen
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People Will Always Need Plates
Pieces of You
Play Design
Pli Design
Product Creation
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Sam Murat Designs
Sarah King
Scrap Design
Terra Plana
Tom Dixon

Climate Cool By Design at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
The Spin Art Bike in action
[re]design's Sarah Johnson talks at the UK-China By Design Forum



Climate Cool By Design: Introduction

What are we doing to the world’s climate?

The climate is changing. But you already know that. News from all over the world reveals the impacts on our lives: extreme weather, rising sea levels and shrinking land, food and water shortages, threats to health… and according to scientific models, there is much more to come.

What have our actions got to do with it? The vast majority of scientists agree that current global warming is the result of human activities. We are releasing increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which trap heat by forming a blanket around the earth.

Major sources of greenhouse gases include:
•    burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) to produce energy for industries, homes and transport
•    clearing forests for agriculture
•    emissions from the cement industry

As levels of greenhouse gases rise, so do global temperatures. This makes the earth’s natural systems increasingly unstable – which in turn affects economic development, human health and wellbeing.


Climate change is caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other polluting gases in our atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases because they trap the sun’s heat, warming the earth. In China, CO2 currently makes up 83% of total greenhouse gases.


  How climate change works

These gases have always been present: CO2 is released naturally by breathing and decay. But for hundreds of thousands of years it has remained below 280 parts per million in the atmosphere. Human activity in the last 100 years has increased this level to 380 ppm, and it is still rising – along with the temperature. 

  The rise in CO2 in the atmosphere
  Carbon dioxide is emitted whenever fossil fuels are burned. The products we buy and use contribute to these emissions, because most industrial processes are powered by burning fossil fuels. Extracting raw materials, processing them, manufacturing products, transportation, and incinerating waste all release CO2. Electrical products also add to emissions during use. Cement production is another (non-fossil fuel) source of CO2.

Waste disposal is a major source of other greenhouse gases: incineration emits nitrous oxide (N2O), while landfill sites are a source of methane (CH4 – also released by burning fossil fuels and in agriculture).

Trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide, so climate change is exacerbated by clearing forests and other natural habitats for agriculture and other human uses.

  Emissions from product lifecycles

China's Role

In 2006 China overtook the USA as the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide – producing 6.2 billion tonnes of CO2 in total – according to figures released by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in June 2007. China’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by approximately 65% between 1994 and 2004, and have increased more than eighty-fold since 1950.

  Comparing national CO2 emissions
  On an individual basis, the picture looks different: with CO2 emissions per capita at 3.88 tonnes, a Chinese citizen’s emissions are still less than half the UK average (8.8 tonnes) or a quarter of the USA average (19.61 tonnes), the International Energy Agency estimates. And while China’s economy grew fourfold between 1990 and 2004  according to International Monetary Fund statistics, emissions only increased by a factor of 2.
  Comparing emissions per capita
  Nevertheless, to stabilise levels of greenhouse gases  – and stabilise the climate – we need to reduce worldwide emissions to a level that balances the Earth’s natural capacity to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Maintaining long-term stability will require global emissions to be reduced by at least 80% (from a 1990 baseline), according to the UK government’s recent Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. This means all industrialised nations will need to develop innovative ways of reducing their emissions while maintaining a healthy economy.
  Projected emissions and potential reductions