Carole Collet is Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures and Director of Maison/0, the Central Saint Martins – LVMH creative platform for regenerative luxury originally set up in 2017. She is also co-director of the Design & Living Systems Lab Research Group at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.
Prototyping regenerative luxury: Maison/0
As Director of Maison/0, Carole’s role is to collaborate with the luxury group LVMH to leverage the agency of creativity and education to help regenerate our climate and biodiversity and to empower emerging talents to design a better future. In addition to working with students projects and LVMH Maisons, Carole curated ‘Designing in Turbulent Times”, one of the top ten must see exhibition at the London Design Festival 2019. She also runs a series of symposium titled ‘The Other Way’ to showcase the agency of design as a critical tool for a nature-positive future. Her key focus for Maison/0 in 2021-2026 is to prototype regenerative luxury through design, continue to develop disruptive creative curricula activities, as well as curate symposium, exhibitions and publications in collaboration with the LVMH environment team.
A living systems approach to design as an inquiry into regenerative futures: Living Systems Lab
As a design researcher, Carole founded the Living Systems Lab in 2013 to develop new knowledge in the field of ecology and biodesign. She curated the first international exhibition that explores biodesign via the lens of sustainability in 2013 (‘Alive, New Design Frontiers’, EDF Foundation) and published an original framework for designing with living systems. This research stems out of a series of collaborations with the Medical Research Council, including ‘Nobel Textiles’, a design-science project referencing five Nobel Laureates’ research which was showcased at the ICA London in 2008. Carole initiated the now annual conference ‘Designing with the Living’ co-curated with the Design Museum, The British Council, and The Bio ID Lab (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) to provide a space for critique and to drive an annual review of the agency of ‘designing with the living’ within a global perspective. Carole’s own biodesign research work is informed by living sytems thinking and has been featured in international exhibitions. Recent shows include the Pompidou Centre (La Fabrique du Vivant 2019), The Biotopia Museum (2020-21), The CID Grand Hornu (Plant Fever 2020-21). Her design research project Biolace (2012) has been exhibited in more than 30 international showcases including the Universal Expo in 2015 and has been widely cited in book publications and catalogues. She has also published her work in academic journals, book chapters and is a regular keynote speaker on the subject of biodesign, biomimicry, biotextiles, synthetic biology, future biofacturing and bio-materiality, regenerative design, design for the climate and biodiversity emergency.
Creating ‘disobedient’ design curriculum:
As an ecologist and educationalist, Carole has dedicated her academic career to develop a new disruptive vision for sustainable design and has developped a range of ‘disobedient’ curriculum content. She founded and directed the MA Textile Futures (now MA Material Futures) from 2000- 2010. This masters programme was the first course at Central Saint Martins to integrate sustainability in the assessment criteria and situated textiles and material practice at the intersection of sustainability, future technologies, innovation and craft. In collaboraiton with the MRC Clinical Sciences, she introduced biology in the design curriculum with a series of ‘Fabrics of life’ workshops that created encounters between world-leading biologists and textile futures students. In 2018, she founded the world first MA Biodesign course which opened in 2019. She is currently the research professor attached to the Jewellery, Textiles and Material Futures programme at Central Saint Martins UAL