Make Good: Rethinking Material Futures

Make Good: Rethinking Material Futures is a V&A curatorial project investigating the use of natural, renewable materials in design and architecture. It invites practitioners from different fields to share research, knowledge and skills and considers the responsibilities of designers and consumers toward the natural world. The project encompasses an annual symposium, an annual display and an ongoing acquisition initiative, capturing the program's research outputs in the museum collection.

Make Good is supported by furniture maker and designer John Makepeace, OBE, and will run for a ten-year period. Launched in 2022, it sits in line with the V&A Sustainability Plan. As such the project has an important remit to engage audiences in debates around the climate crisis in a decade dedicated to addressing the devastating effects of climate change on the planet.

In line with the V&A's wider commitment to be a more accessible, diverse and inclusive space for everyone interested in art and design, the Make Good programme always considers equality, diversity and inclusivity.


The annual Make Good symposium takes place in March every year and is free to attend. Speakers and audiences come together at the V&A, but there is also the possibility to join online. The symposium brings together speakers from a broad range of disciplines to inspire and inform. You can see the 2022 talks here, and the 2023 talks here.


The annual Make Good display opens each November, dedicated to a specific theme or subject. The first display, From the Forest, looked at what forests can teach us about stewardship of natural, renewable materials and featured works by ten contemporary practitioners. The second display, Field Notes, explores the challenges and opportunities of making with local, natural materials – specifically wood – and was the outcome of a summer school organised by the V&A and the environmental charity Sylva Foundation.


The curators working on the Make Good project undertake a number of acquisitions annually to embed the thinking of the programme in the V&A's permanent collection. The first acquisition was the Bodge Bench by Gitta Gschwendtner, created in 2010. New acquisitions made through the program can be found on Explore the Collections under the tag “Make Good”.

A two-seater bench with two back rests at either end, made from ash and sycamore.
Bodge Bench designed by Gitta Gschwendtner, 2010. Ash and sycamore. Museum no. W.1-2022. © Image: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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