Circular Cultures is the European arm of Making Matters, the British Council’s global programme aiming to foster dialogue around circular design, covering topics such as climate change, material waste and making cultures.

Circular Cultures creates new networks across the UK and Europe for creative professionals who are passionate about sustainability and circularity, and generates a more critical dialogue around these themes, supporting skills development, knowledge sharing and the development of leaders.

The programme currently operates across eight countries, in addition to the UK: France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. Partners include the Onassis Foundation, Re-Barcelona, MODA-FAD, City of Warsaw, Romania Design Week, University of the Arts London and Design Manchester.

The programme is structured around three pillars:

  • Convening and audience awareness including the annual Circular Cultures Conference (Greece), Creative Mikser – policy Dialogue (Poland) and Sustainable Makers Assembly for practitioners about future trends (Spain)
  • Participatory learnings and trainings such as the Worth Partnership Project Award (all EU), Circular Cultures Open Studios (all EU), Sustainable Makers Assembly Workshop (Spain)
  • Co-creation and networking including a residency programme (Italy and Greece), Sustainable Challenge Barcelona-Manchester (Spain)

2023 Circular Open Studios

The second edition of our Circular Open Studios consisted of a series of online events focusing on sustainable design that took place in January and February 2023.

The series gathered together experts and designers from across Europe who are connected through their practices, under the overarching theme of ‘Design with Care’. The sessions explored how history, innovation, cultural practices and ethics can connect and inform us to develop a more sustainable design future.

If you missed the live events, you can now watch video recordings of the sessions: