Building circular networks for change

Join a panel of design experts as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in applying circular economy principles across the built environment sector in the second event in a two-part series with Project Etopia.

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What to expect

The built environment sector is the UK’s biggest consumer of natural resources.

The circular economy model presents an opportunity to make a step-change. It requires a rethink of design governance, regulation and business models: decoupling economic growth from resource consumption. Instead, materials, products and components are designed and built to be more durable, and to be repaired, refurbished, reused and repurposed in repetitive loops, minimising waste.

In this panel chaired by architect and engineer Smith Mordak, panellists Barnabas Calder, Jo Wright and Joseph Daniels discuss the vital ways research, innovation and collaboration are integrating circular economy principles into the built environment, and the role policymakers and large organisations have to play in this.

The Waste Age exhibition will be open until 9pm - visitors are able to visit the exhibition following the talk. This is included in the event ticket.

We are sorry to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances, Barnabas Calder will be unable to participate in the event this evening.


Barnabas Calder

Barnabas is an architectural historian and author of 'Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency' (Pelican, 2021). He is head of the Architectural and Urban History Research Group at Liverpool School of Architecture, where he is Senior Lecturer in Architecture.

Jo Wright

Jo is Arup’s Architecture Practice Leader in the UK. She is an outstanding designer with excellent relationships with many of the UK’s most eminent construction professionals and contractors. She is a member of Arup’s global Architecture Exec working with leaders across Arup’s five regions to evolve Arup’s Total Design offer.

Joseph Daniels

Joseph founded Etopia in 2015 at 23, having experienced homelessness first-hand. His ethos is ‘everyone deserves a comfortable, sustainable home, regardless of income.’ He now advises financial institutions, governments, and international corporations developing an aligned approach to global sustainability, whilst leading Etopia’s expansion.

Smith Mordak

Director of Sustainability and Physics at Buro Happold, Smith is a multi-award winning architect, engineer, writer and curator. They are a nationally elected member of the council of RIBA, a trustee of the Architecture Foundation, on the steering committee of Built Environment Declares, and a Mayor of London Design Advocate. Smith was also chief curator of the 2019 Oslo Architecture.

Project Etopia and the Reuben Foundation

The Design Museum is working in collaboration with Project Etopia, supported by the Reuben Foundation, to develop a number of talks as part of the Waste Age public programme. These talks will demonstrate the ways in which the built environment can address some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, as well as inspire meaningful change within the design industry and among the Museum’s audiences.


Booking information

Adult: £9
Student: £7
Members: £5

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Related Exhibition

Waste Age: What can design do?

We are living in the age of waste. Discover if design could provide the answer to leaving our throwaway culture behind in this major new exhibition.

Background image by Project Etopia.