Looking To The Future, SustainLab Believes In The Power of Now

Students led SustainLab on recognising the need to embed a sustainability mindset in the next generation

Today I popped by the Royal College of Art (RCA) to have lunch with Victoria Geaney and Rachel Freire. While there, I learnt about SustainLab RCA. Founded in in September 2017 by RCA students, SustainLab’s objective is to support and inspire the work of fellow students with interest in sustainability.

Royal College of Art

Addressing Some of the Biggest Challenges

Run entirely by students, SustainLab recognises the need to embed a sustainability mindset in the next generation. One of the ways that they are doing this is by displaying the work of current RCA and alumni students at the university. Then projects on display explore how they might contribute positive actions to re-balance human impact to the planet. Of the 16 projects on display, the four that stood out the most for me were the following:

Metacognition Revolution- Freja Sewell

Freyja looks at how mindfulness led metacognition can to bring about a species-wide shift in perception. The designer is fascinated by the challenge of creating privacy and mindfulness within our increasingly hectic and hyperconnected world. In her project, Freyja proposes that maybe human happiness is intrinsically linked to our planet’s health and that meditation may be a path to realising this.

RCA: Metacognition Revolution- Freja Sewell

Corallo – Minwoo Kim, Mattia Gobbo, Roxie Chiu and Nien-Ting Chang

From micro-plastics to macro-impact, Corallo is a service which aims to create a restorative cycle to minimise the harmful influence of microplastics on the environment. The service would be designed to allow microplastics to be collected in wastewater treatment plants and then be reprocessed for the manufacture of new products. Minwoo Kim, Mattia Gobbo, Roxie Chiu and Nien-Ting Chang believe that Corallo would work well within the fashion industry, where the system could recycle microplastics into new garment materials.

Eavesdropping on Nature- Davin Browner-Conaty, Minwoo Kim and Filippo Sanzeni

Eavesdropping on nature is a DIY bioacoustics project. Focussing on the fruitful entanglement of service design, science, sound and the public sphere, Davin Browner-Conaty, Minwoo Kim and Filippo Sanzeni are working in collaboration with scientists from the Entomology and Crop genetics Labs at the John Innes Centre. Their objective is to fight against the loss of insect biomass by developing an open source, DIY sensor service that enables bioacoustic monitoring of insect species.

Jiva- Jack Herring

Jiva is currently developing Soluboard to tackle the nature of e-waste. Patent pending (within the UK), the wholly biodegradable material, created with a revolutionary composite material that can optimise the recycling of electronics, Jack has designed it so it can delaminate when immersed in warm water, allowing the electronic components to be removed for optimised reclamation.  Jiva hopes to use Soluboard as a catalyst to rethink the way we are handling the fastest growing waste stream in the world.

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Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.