A man walks down a path lined with rubbish on either side

About Waste Age: What can design do?

Booking essential - tickets will be available from summer 2024.

Waste Age: What can design do? is a group exhibition focused on a new generation of designers who are rethinking our relationship to everyday things. From fashion to food, electronics to construction, even packaging - finding the lost value in our trash and imagining a future of clean materials and a circular economy could point the way out of the Waste Age.

The exhibition tells the story of the environmental crisis and marks MAC’s first collaboration with the Design Museum to highlight the current crisis and design’s role in the problem. It also explores how design can transform our waste into valuable resources, promote new ways of living with the Earth and not from it, and where there is no such thing as waste. Divided into three topics, this exhibition explores what lies beyond our current toxic waste infrastructures, exploring the environmental, social, and geopolitical forces at work.

Visitors will be immersed in the waste crisis before being shown the transformative potential of new design approaches that are redefining fashion, construction, food, electronics or packaging and the new materials that will help shape a cleaner future.

This is an exhibition that not only seeks to imagine alternative futures, but one that empowers the visitor to be part of the solution.

The exhibition will feature a new sculptural commission inspired by clothes waste markets in Nigeria by Birmingham-based artist Abdulrazaq Awofeso.

Waste Age is a touring exhibition by the Design Museum, London and curated by Gemma Curtin and Justin McGuirk. MAC is the only tour venue in the UK. The exhibition has been shown in Hong Kong and is currently on view in Paris.


Material Library, India. Courtesy of the Design Museum Waste material at UFlex ltd, one of the largest multi-layer packaging producers and recycles © Material Library of India.

MAC would like to thank Eversheds Sutherland, headline sponsor of Waste Age. With thanks to Arts Council England and players of People's Postcode Lottery.