Online Event Symposium

Design with the Living 2021 for Members and Patrons

How do we design for a planetary emergency? Join this two-day symposium to discuss how designing with and for living systems can shape our future.

What to expect

Join our third annual symposium to explore how a living systems thinking approach to design can nurture a radical mindset where multi-species creative collaborations can contribute to planetary heath.

This symposium aims to participate in shaping an ecological blueprint for future biodesign practice. It is co-organised by the Design Museum, the Living Systems Lab (Central Saint Martins UAL), The Bio ID Lab (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) and the British Council.

The event will bring together a range of perspectives from designers, scientists, researchers, ecologists, architects, and ask: is biodesign truly addressing planetary challenges, or is biodesign perpetuating a mindset of natural exploitation and business as usual? Can biodesign adopt multi-species thinking? Should this design approach become the norm?

A place for critical review as well as mindful and ethical reflection, the symposium will be structured around 4 panels that will interrogate the practice of biodesign in relation to:

Plant Fever: Towards a Phyto-centred Design – a travelling exhibition by studio d-o-t-s, image by Tim Van de Velde CID au Grand-Hornu

Porject by Miriam Josi and Stella Lee Prowse

Project by Cassie Quinn

The Programme

Day 1: THURSDAY 4 NOVEMBER 13:00 - 17:30

PANEL 1: Biodiversity 13.15 - 15.00
How can designing with living systems help restore degraded ecologies and nurture biodiversity?

PANEL 2: Circularity 15.15 - 17.00
How can biodesign accelerate the circular economy to create value from waste?


Day 2: FRIDAY 5 NOVEMBER 13:00 - 17:30

PANEL 3: Climate and extreme environments 13.15 - 15.00
How can living system thinking help us design for disrupted climate and extreme environments?

PANEL 4: Inclusive futures 15.15 - 17.00
How can biodesign help foster community and create manufacturing processes that generate meaningful employment?


Cassie Quinn

Cassie Quinn has a background in fashion with a focus on embroidery and textile design. She is the founder of CQ Studio which focuses on the R&D of regenerative, local textiles and utilising waste to create new products. Currently she is working on new research funded by the UAL Mead Fellowship Award.

Lara Drouet and Olivier Lacrouts

Lara Drouet and Olivier Lacrouts founded studio d-o-t-s in 2014, a nomadic research-led studio active in the field of editorial and curatorial production. The studio’s investigations focus on alternative social dynamics, off-the-record stories and experimental design perspectives. Defined by participatory and interdisciplinary approaches, their work ranges from writing and exhibition-making to educational workshops.

Miriam Josi and Stella Lee Prowse

Miriam Josi and Stella Lee Prowse are designers and collaborators based in Paris. They recently completed a Master of Science in Nature Inspired Design at Ensci-les Atelier. Their joint work explores the ethics and principles of bio-collaboration through a bio-inclusive philosophy to imagine new fabrication processes that benefit the more-than-human.

Monika Lipinska

Monika is a PhD candidate at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) at Newcastle University, researching growth as an alternative approach for the construction of extra-terrestrial habitats, in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center. Also a co-founder of Bio-Futures for Transplanetary Habitats, studying the bio-social and biotechnological relations in space and extreme environments habitats.

Buy online

Booking information


Adult: £25

Student/Concession £15

Members: £10

Student Members: £8

Background image: BIO ID Lab project / Waste Age: What can design do? exhibition.