The British Council’s Making Matters, China Design Challenge seeks to unlock the creative talent of future generations of designers through a student focused initiative. This edition of Making Matters is, sponsored by strategic partner IM Motors, and co-developed by Manchester Metropolitan University and Young Green Tech.

The circular economy requires moving from the current linear model of take, make, discard to a circular system that regenerates natural systems and keeps materials and products in use.

Moving toward a circular economy requires global cooperation and an industrial-scale response that can be supported by a community and locally-based approach to encourage more sustainable design and fabrication solutions. The concept of circular design is a relatively new term, but circular systems and practices have existed in different forms around the world for centuries. Research from organisations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, highlight the power that circular design has in shaping a more positive future for our planet, but to have more meaningful regional and global impact, circular design and making practices need to be shared more widely.

Designers around the world require more support to understand the impact of their design and material choices, and the public require more information to make informed decisions, as citizens, rather than consumers. How can the principles of circular design be expressed in new ways internationally between different countries and cultures? Making Matters will foster a global dialogue around circular design. The multi-disciplinary programme explores how principles of the circular economy can be a catalyst for creativity, collaboration and regenerative thinking within Architecture, Design and Fashion practice. This programme aims to provide a space for an international exchange of knowledge and expertise, exploring how design & making can respond to global environmental challenges, to support restorative and alternative futures. Currently the Architecture Design Fashion team at the British Council has run Making Matters projects with practitioners across East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and EU Europe, with several UK and international partners.

This year, sponsored by IM Motors, the British Council is collaborating with Manchester Metropolitan University and Young Green Tech, to invite Chinese university students from design, engineering, and related disciplines to join forces to explore how designers can communicate the principles of the circular economy internationally.