Prince Charles Teams Up With Jony Ive

Updated: Aug 5

It may seem like a strange pairing but saving the environment is one of the most pressing design challenges of our time. Prince Charles has long been an eco warrior and Jonny Ive is one of the planet's finest designers, so why not?


Sir Jony Ive is partnering with Prince Charles to open a design lab through London’s Royal College of Art. Called the Terra Carta Design Lab, its goal is to work with students to “create small designs that can make a big impact for the world’s transition to a sustainable future,” according to the press release.

The lab stems from the Terra Carta (which means “Earth Charter” in Latin), an environmental charter also backed by Prince Charles and designed by Ive. Released in January this year, it provides an environmental innovation framework to be backed by $10 billion in private sector investments.


The Terra Carta Design Lab, partly funded by Amazon, invites all of RCA’s more than 2,300 students, ranging from designers to artists to architects, to create “high impact, low cost solutions for Nature, People, and Planet.”


Topics that students will address include reducing greenhouse gases, increasing biodiversity, and supporting environmentally focused economic development for developing countries.

The new design lab hopes to focus students even more toward environmentally positive projects. Meanwhile, the Terra Carta Design Lab’s corporate partners stand by with the resources and reach to scale some of the lab’s best ideas, reports FastCompany.


How the lab works: Students will develop and submit design ideas. Then by November, RCA will pare down all student submissions to the top 16 finalists, to be announced at COP26. An unspecified number of winning designs will be chosen to receive funding in 2022, along with access to private partners and personal mentorship from Ive himself.


It's hoped that bringing this sort of opportunity to environmental design might just be a way to get more promising minds working on one of the most urgent problems of our time.

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Prince Charles Unveils Terra Carta: The Prince of Wales launches unprecedented drive to 'put nature at the heart of big business'. [OGN January] More...