Design in an age of crisis

In 2021, Chatham House, an international think tank, and London Design Biennale partnered on an international open call, inviting radical thinking from the world's design community to tackle our current crises, including poor health, rapid transformations in the world of work, social inequality and the climate crisis.

Design in the Age of Crisis received over 500 submissions from more than 50 countries across six continents, the highlights of which are part of the London Design Biennale at Somerset House.

The Environment: Building Back Greener category called for a radical rethink of environments to be sustainable, just and resilient in the face of the shocks to come. Global warming is forcing us to adapt to a new world with longer and more intense heat waves.

Traditional air conditioning systems contribute to climate change: the energy used for cooling Europe's cities has increased by 72% in the past 15 years. Sofie Ascham's submission, Draft: Passive Home Cooling offers a new approach that utilises natural materials, water, wind and evaporative cooling to reduce the indoor temperature. It is a sustainable alternative to traditional air conditioning, designed to be more suited to a home environment, less noisy and most importantly – kinder to the environment