Hubbub’s Design By Nature 2021: Innovative designs to reconnect people with nature

Environmental charity Hubbub announces the winners of its 2021 sustainable design competition for students Design By Nature . Students (and recent graduates) across the UK were challenged to get back to nature, with briefs inspired by the idea that ‘Good things happen when we connect people to nature’

The judges were looking for the most insight-led, disruptive, collaborative and experimental ideas to bring to life and create real change. 

See shortlisted entries: 2021 Showcase | Hubbub Foundation

The two commended entries ‘The Hidden Drought’ by Joshua Fox and ‘XPlore’ by Lilymae Prescott, will be supported by Hubbub to develop their ideas and bring them to life, thanks to sponsorship from the Wates Family Enterprise Trust.

Lilymae was awarded a commendation for ‘XPlore’ a rewards-based navigation app making nature part of daily journeys. It offers alternative green routes and rewards time spent in nature with sustainable perks. The app generates several nature-incorporated routes based on your end destination. You can share activity with friends and trade in the points you earn for perks which promote sustainability and healthy living.

Lilymae is graduating in 2021 from Loughborough University.

“Loved it. Great concept. Smart use of key principles (esp. nudge, simplify, social norms, partner). Very scalable with the right support.” Anna Turrell, guest judge 

Joshua was commended for ‘The Hidden Drought’, an installation (turned urban community vegetable patch) which visualises the amount of water that goes into the production of a beef steak to show how many vegetables that amount of water could grow. It invites the community to reduce the amount of meat they eat by opening up the veg patch to passers-by.

Joshua has moved his Masters study at Loughborough to part-time and is now a Usability Designer for Philips in the Netherlands.

“Design has always interested me, but my mindset and thoughts towards design has grown with the changing purpose and need for design thinking. Design provides a brilliant opportunity to add value to others lives. Building positive experiences for others leads to positive experiences for yourself, and it seems that inherently I was naturally drawn to design because of this.” Joshua Fox

“Great to visualise resources that go into growing food and connect this to practical activities communities can take part in.” Hubbub judge

Over the years Hubbub has seen how impactful great design can be in nudging behaviours and the value of collaborating to create innovative, experimental approaches to tackling environmental issues. From trialling drone technology and AI, developed by technology start-up Ellipsis Earth, to tackle litter, to working with artists Climate and Cities to create a Pollution Pavilion raising awareness of air pollution and our continued collaboration with Mark Edwards MBE, a boat builder bringing to life our 99% recycled plastic punts to tell a brilliant story of the circular economy.

Trewin Restorick, Founder and CEO at Hubbub, said: “Great design has always been at the heart of Hubbub’s approach. Our team of six designers are integral to the creation of our campaigns. They take the insight we gain through in-depth research and use our set of proven behaviour change techniques to develop playful, engaging and impactful campaigns.

We have continually been astonished by the quality of young designers coming through our education system. We have noticed a growing number want to use their skills to create a more sustainable world. Design by Nature was created to harness this creativity giving student’s a chance to work on a practical brief enabling them to hone their ideas and present them to a group of experts.”

Michelle Robb, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said: “It’s been brilliant to see up-and-coming designers use their creative skills for positive change. We’ve been really impressed by the innovative ideas the students have come up with to encourage a wide range of people to connect with nature. Hubbub will be supporting the commended entrants Lilymae and Joshua to bring their ideas to life. We’re excited to see how their ideas develop and creative a positive impact.”

The full list of shortlisted entries:  2021 Showcase | Hubbub Foundation

“Loughborough University School of Design and Creative Arts were delighted to partner with Hubbub on the Design by Nature initiative. Our masters and undergraduate students in industrial, sustainable and user experience design engaged wholeheartedly with the challenging Hubbub briefs, producing creative, meaningful and evidence-based design solutions.” Dr Debra Lilley, Senior Lecturer in Design

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