Louise Emily Carver’s (Lancaster University) research that informed a poster exhibit Farming Nature Post Brexit on the UK’s new agricultural subsidy systems after Brexit has been nominated for the Beazley Designs of the Year Award at the London Design Museum, and will be displayed in the exhibition at the Museum between 10th September 2019 and 9th February 2020. The poster emerged from an ongoing collaboration between Louise and curator Dani Admiss and was chosen by the Design Museum as a means of catalysing a broader public conversation over the political dimensions of the UK’s new farm subsidy and payment systems.
Located in the architecture category for its investigation into land use and politics, the nominated contribution explores the political ecology of wildlife conservation and natural capital accounting techniques under the new farming subsidy and payment system, called Public Money for Public Goods, feted to replace the Common Agricultural Policy when the UK leaves the EU. The idea of “Farming Nature”, is a speculative critique of PMPG that derives from Louise’s doctoral research into DEFRA’s adventures and experiments with biodiversity offsetting (2013-2017). Here, brokers and commercially minded farmers were conceptualising the opportunities for biodiversity payments to align with growth and efficiency logics shaping their land use practices leading them to describe biodiversity offsets in terms of ‘yields’ and with optimised productivity (c.f Carver and Sullivan 2017).
The Design Museum describes the Award as follows: “Beazley Designs of the Year explores innovations and interventions from around the world that champion accessibility, design for women and local ideas with global impact. In its 12th year the award is an annual celebration of the most original and exciting products, concepts and designs across the globe today. Nominators were asked to select their favourite designs that inspire, represent change in their field and capture this moment in time.” The poster is part of a Louises’s effort to bridge political ecology research and new audiences.