Design Researchers in Residence: Islands


Discover how design research can play an important role in shaping a liveable future.

Over the course of this year, our four Design Researchers in Residence have responded to the theme of 'Islands' through a diverse selection of projects that cover architecture, interiors, graphics, multispecies design and engineering.

This display brings together the 2022/23 cohort of Design Researchers in Residence, four emerging researchers based at the Design Museum working on projects which respond to the climate crisis. The display gives visitors an opportunity to understand how design research takes place and to experience new proposals for the future of design through films, drawings and other objects.

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

Design Researchers in Residence is Future Observatory’s programme for design researchers hosted at the Design Museum. The residency supports four thinkers at the start of their careers to spend a year developing a new research project in response to a theme. This year’s theme is Islands, and researchers were encouraged to apply to the open call with projects touching on topics including marine ecosystems; rising sea levels and coastal communities; food sovereignty; importation and supply chains; islander identities and cultural connections.

Design Researchers in Residence builds upon the Design Museum’s distinguished Designers in Residence programme that ran from 2007 to 2020.

Future Observatory is a new programme for design research supporting the UK's response to the climate crisis. Future Observatory is coordinated by the Design Museum in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Design Researchers in Residence, 2023 cohort
Image by Anselm Ebulue


Isabel Lea

Isabel Lea

Design Researcher in Residence 2022-23

James Peplow Powell

Design Researcher in Residence 2022-23

Rhiarna Dhaliwal

Design Researcher in Residence 2022-23

Marianna Janowicz

Design Researcher in Residence 2022-23



Redefining the problems, reframing the questions

A conversation with the Design Researchers in Residence

‘If we care about the planet, we should care about pigeons’


Design Researchers in Residence

The next call for residents will open in summer 2023