Swarovski has launched its inaugural Conscious Design programme in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, UAL. Swarovski’s Conscious Design initiative is focused on how the company can “inspire others to spark positive change in the world” by motivating the next generation of designers to create their products and collections responsibly, and by integrating sustainability into the creative learning projects supported by the brand.
The new programme will form part of the curriculum at Central Saint Martins, UAL for students on three courses: MA Material Futures, BA Jewellery Design, and BA Textile Design.
During the summer term, each student will create work that takes Swarovski upcycled crystal as its starting point, embracing sustainable materials and concepts that have a positive social impact and addressing real business challenges.
Through this, the jewellery company aims to nurture the next generation of conscious designers who will contribute towards a more sustainable industry.
Material Futures (MA) students will explore the power of light through the medium of Swarovski crystal. As future thinkers, these students will develop innovations that harness the potential of light and may inform new technological or scientific processes.
Jewellery Design (BA) students will create jewelry pieces that combine upcycled Swarovski crystals with other materials, in particular ‘future materials’ that may be zero waste, environmentally friendly or part of the circular economy.
Textile Design (BA) students will be challenged to develop new crystal applications in print and weave designs that celebrate cultural fusions in the city of London, working the concepts of sustainability and social purpose into their design story.
Following completion of the program in autumn 2019, the Swarovski Conscious Design Hub, an online platform dedicated to the program will go live on the Central Saint Martins website. The open source hub will become a platform that offers insight into sustainability in design, featuring creative content from the projects, including research, drawings, experiments, videos and podcasts by students as well as leading figures in creative and sustainability fields.
Swarovski is currently working on educational initiatives with 17 design schools globally including Parsons School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and Bunka Fashion College, driving sustainability into the curriculum through the use of upcycled crystal and sustainable design challenges.
Nadja Swarovski, Swarovski executive board, said: “We are delighted to reaffirm our longstanding commitments to sustainability and to the outstanding creative education provided by Central Saint Martins with our new Conscious Design program and the Swarovski Foundation’s expanded support for student scholarships.
“The hugely dedicated and talented students and faculty at Central Saint Martins/ the College (either here) are creating much needed positive change in the fashion industry and beyond. As a company with a 125-year heritage of innovation, creative collaboration and responsible business it is a true pleasure to support them on their journey.”