Bringing a Welsh way of working to a global stage – joining the Design Council’s “Design for Planet” panel

4 min read Written by: Cory Hughes
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I’m delighted to announce that I have been selected as part of the Design Council’s new cohort of “Design for Planet” experts. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with a talented group of individuals passionate about using design to tackle the environmental challenges we face. 

The Design Council is a highly respected organisation that champions design thinking and its power to improve lives. Their “Design for Planet” initiative is particularly close to my heart, focusing on using design to create a more sustainable future. My experience has increasingly shown me that our planet’s challenges in the 21st century are too complex to be solved by only focusing on what humans need from a product, service, or experience—a hard but necessary pill to swallow!  

My journey to design for the planet 

My career in the digital and design industries has always been about generating ideas for improving services and turning those ideas into reality. For over 15 years, that meant placing ‘users’ at the centre of design decisions. Putting people first has always felt good and right. But what if this way of thinking was missing the bigger picture? 

What if, by focusing so intently on designing products and services that meet human needs, we designers had failed to consider how these solutions might impact our natural environment? This realisation led me to seek opportunities to work in the emerging practice of ‘Design for the planet’. 

This way of working considers the environment itself as an equal (arguably, more critical!) stakeholder in design projects as people. As Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, famously asked, “If you’re not designing for the planet, what planet are you on?” 

Putting design for the planet into practice 

In 2022, I joined Perago as Director of Strategic Design. One of my first projects was leading a discovery to explore how digital technology can support Wales’s ambitious and world-leading net zero climate aims. This gave me real insight into how Wales’s unique legislative context—specifically the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act—could be used to consider the impact of design decisions on our communities and planet for years to come. 

At Perago, we’re encouraged to work closely with experts from diverse disciplines, from design to policy, communications and beyond- to succeed at turning ideas into solutions that help tackle climate change. It’s about blending different perspectives, knowledge, and skills in unexpected ways to improve things. 

The Future of design for the planet 

Being recognised as a Design Council Expert in this discipline is incredibly exciting. It means bringing a Welsh way of working to a global stage. The strategic design practice I lead at Perago has allowed me to support public sector leadership in exploring ways to innovate at the pace needed to make Wales greener. 

I’m excited about bringing these learnings to the broader community, working towards future events like the World Design Congress in London 2025 and advocating for change to demonstrate the power of design in achieving net zero over the next three years. 


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