Exhibition Free display

Design Researchers in Residence: Islands

A free display of new design research responding to the climate crisis.

What to expect

Islands brings together the work of the 2022/23 Design Researchers in Residence. The display considers islands both geographically and metaphorically. It features the work of this year’s Design Researchers in Residence, whose projects explore a shift from an ‘island mentality’ towards ‘archipelagic thinking’, which emphasises networks of interdependence.

Their research takes us from the alien depths of the Pacific Ocean to the inside of a damp London flat, and from the hills of Skye to the homes of pigeons. They argue for public luxury, multispecies flourishing, invigorated ecological knowledge and the inseparability of design from planetary resources.

The 2022/23 Design Researchers in Residence are Rhiarna Dhaliwal, Marianna Janowicz, Isabel Lea and James Peplow Powell.

Exhibition photography by Felix Speller

Rhiarna Dhaliwal

Rhiarna is an architectural designer, writer and educator investigating deep sea mining.

Marianna Janowicz

Marianna is an architect and writer with a particular interest in laundry and internal pollution.

Isabel Lea

Isabel is a creative director and graphic designer with an interest in sociolinguistics and forgotten climate knowledge.

James Peplow Powell

James is an architect with a specialism in multi-species design.

Design Researchers in Residence is the Design Museum’s programme for emerging design researchers.

The residency supports thinkers and makers from different disciplinary backgrounds at the start of their careers. The residents spend eight months developing a new research project around a theme that responds to the climate crisis. The next open call for residents will be launched in summer 2023.

This year’s residency theme is Islands. Our four residents were selected through an open call for proposals engaging with this theme. The residency is part of Future Observatory, the museum's national research programme for the green transition It is coordinated by the Design Museum in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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

Related event

Islands Talks: Frith Kerr and Isabel Lea

Join award-winning graphic designer Frith Kerr in conversation with Isabel Lea, Design Researcher in Residence.

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.

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Future Observatory is a 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.

Background image by Plan B. Researchers portraits by Anselm Ebulue.