The Prince of Wales has voiced concern at the “urgency” of the climate crisis, which he said is “confronting us in all directions”, as he met with student designers at the Royal College of Art (RCA).
Charles visited the university’s Battersea campus in south London on Wednesday to see the opening of the new Terra Carta Design Lab, which showcases the work of 20 students who have developed innovative design solutions to the climate crisis.
Speaking at the event, the Prince of Wales said of climate change that there were “crises that are confronting us in all directions” which highlighted the importance of “finding solutions rapidly”.
He added that, with the designers’ ingenuity, “we will have a better chance of winning this battle in shorter time”.
The prince – a long-time champion of the environment and sustainability – met with the winners and runners-up of a sustainable design competition developed by him and design guru Sir Jony Ive, and spoke with them about their climate solutions.
One of the winning designs is a wearable device for cattle to neutralise methane emissions in real time.
Francisco Norris, founder of design group Zelp (Zero Emissions Livestock Project) – which designed the product, said it was a “great honour” to speak with the prince, whom he had met previously when presenting a prototype of his product in 2018.
Charles asked with concern whether the device, which is worn around a cow’s head, was “annoying” for the animal, but Mr Norris reassured him that “it doesn’t bother them at all”.
Another winning team, Amphitex by Amphibo, presented a white shirt made of their 100% recyclable, waterproof and breathable sportswear fabric to the prince.
📢 Announcing the winners of the #TerraCarta Design Lab – an RCA student and alumni led response to our environmental crisis. 🌍
Launched by HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive as part @TheSMI, in collaboration with the RCA.
— Royal College of Art (@RCA) April 27, 2022
One of the designers, Isabella MacKenzie, said that Charles joked about “the colour white not looking good on him”, while fellow designer Jun Kamei said he was “very curious” about the product.
Charles launched the competition alongside Sir Jony, chancellor of the RCA, as part of the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative.
It was inspired by the initiative’s Terra Carta, or Earth Charter, which is a road-map for businesses to set commitments for sustainability by 2030.
HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Jony Ive visited the Royal College of Art today to meet the winners of the Terra Carta Design Lab and hear more about their solutions to the environmental challenges our planet faces #TerraCarta @RCA pic.twitter.com/lP3SgZkpab
— The Sustainable Markets Initiative (@TheSMI) April 27, 2022
The four winners will receive £50,000 from the Sustainable Markets Initiative as seed funding to invest in their start-up businesses.
The prince was warmly greeted by Sir Jony and the vice-chancellor of the university Dr Paul Thompson upon arriving at the exhibition, housed in the RCA’s Dyson Gallery.
The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university of art and design, with David Hockney and Tracey Emin among its prestigious alumni.