Dr Matthew Jones
Dr Matthew Jones

Dr Matthew Jones has been selected to join the new cohort of Design Council Experts, an active community of design pioneers working towards a planet-positive and regenerative future.

Matthew is an architect and Dean of the School of Architecture and Environment at UWE Bristol, an interdisciplinary school championing sustainable and inclusive futures for the designed, built and natural environments.

He’ll join a network of over 240 practitioners working across all design sectors; they will be engaged to work on projects, help shape policy and advocate for change to demonstrate the power of design to achieve net zero over the next three years.

Launching ahead of the World Design Congress in London 2025, the network will be a key driving force for spotlighting the UK’s design industry on a global stage.

Championing the Design Council’s Design for Planet mission – to galvanise the 1.97 million people working in design in the UK to design their way to net zero – Design Council Experts will be a key driver in supporting the broadening of the skills and resources needed to put planetary needs at the forefront of design.

Matthew said: “I am delighted to be reappointed as a Design Council Expert. I’m looking forward to meeting, collaborating with and learning from this community of practice as we contribute to research, policy and thought leadership focused on understanding how design can help shape a sustainable and regenerative future.”

Minnie Moll, CEO of the Design Council said: “The calibre of applications we received was exceptional. This new cohort of Design Council Experts includes some of the most inspiring figures from the design landscape to help drive our Design for Planet mission. Collaboration will be key to designing solutions to the climate crisis, so working across sectors we will be more powerful together.”

The Expert Network plays a vital role in the work that the Design Council does: from providing specialised advice and support, to developing collective knowledge and policy, to visibly advocating for the design industries and their role in the green transition. Businesses, corporate bodies and institutions looking for knowledge of best practice, to develop green skills and to tackle the climate emergency across design disciplines are invited to enquire on ways of working with Design Council Experts.

Before joining UWE Bristol, Matthew was Head of Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, where he led the development of the School’s Sustainable and Inclusive Environments strategy and was a founder of the Green Gown Award-shortlisted Experimental Sustainability Studio.

Matthew’s practice research explores the role of design in creating thriving and resilient towns, high streets, and smaller communities, a focus he has explored through architecture, urban design, participatory workshops, academic research, and community-led planning. His practice-led PhD explored place-specific approaches to the development of rural towns, and his recently published book ‘Transforming Towns: Designing for Smaller Communities’ (RIBA Publishing 2020) argues that designers have a vital role in exploring how we might adapt and transform our towns to help them thrive. He is a member of university-community living lab Hands-On-Bristol, a board member of Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership, and an Advocate in Practice for Design Commission for Wales.

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