Researchers in Residence 2021/22 Opening This Summer

Researchers in Residence: Restore

A free display of design research responding to the climate crisis by this year's Researchers in Residence.


Where does your hair go after it’s cut? Can seaweed reduce water pollution? Should we redesign comfort? Where can we observe climate justice in London?

Restore attempts to answer these questions and more. It brings together the work of the 2021/22 Researchers in Residence – four thinkers based at the Design Museum working on research projects in response to the climate crisis. The display shows some of their findings and proposals through objects, films, drawings and more.

Researchers in Residence is Future Observatory’s programme for design researchers hosted at the Design Museum. The residency supports four thinkers at the start of their careers to spend a year developing a new research project in response to a theme. 'Researchers in Residence' builds upon the Design Museum’s distinguished 'Designers in Residence' programme that ran from 2007 to 2020.

This year's Researchers in Residence are: Thomas Aquilina, Delfina Fantini van Ditmar, Samuel Iliffe and Sanne Visser.

the residents

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar is a transdisciplinary designer and educator whose research explores methods of subtraction.

Samuel Iliffe

Samuel Iliffe is a design engineer who is researching the use of algae to remove harmful pollutants from freshwater bodies.

Sanne Visser

Sanne Visser is a maker and design researcher whose work looks at hair as both a local waste stream and material resource.

Thomas Aquilina

Thomas Aquilina is an architect investigating climate justice in North Kensington.

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Future Observatory is a new programme for design research supporting the UK's response to the climate crisis. It is coordinated by the Design Museum in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Design Researchers in Residence

The Design Researchers in Residence programme supports emerging design thinkers at the start of their careers to spend a year developing a new research project in response to a theme.

This programme is generously supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Idlewild Trust.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects from history and archaeology to philosophy and languages, design and effectiveness of digital content and the impact of artificial intelligence.

Idlewild Trust

Idlewild Trust is an independent grant-making trust that supports conservation and the arts, including programmes that address the lack of opportunities for musicians, dancers, actors, writers, artists, designers and those involved creatively in the arts at an early stage in their career.

Restore visual identity by Rose Nordin.