Read more about Community21 and our approach

An overview of Community21


The Community21 Place-Maker-Space (Brighton)
Industry engagement workshop and exhibition for circular economy methods
Resilience tools
Cultural and material language of reuse and recycling
Youth engagement
technology tools
Collaboratively designing (co-designing) community tools

Community21 is a social and sustainable design agency and research group that is housed within the University of Brighton's School or Architecture and Design.

We have supported communities, NGOs and industry partners in developing research-led innovation and addressing twenty first century issues and opportunities for sustainable and social development locally, regionally and globally. We facilitate engagement and collaboration between creative researchers, staff and students at the University of Brighton and a diverse range of communities and organisations interested in social and sustainable issues.

Community21 has developed award winning initiatives and provided models and solutions for utilising waste for social development, circular economy, emergency planning, neighbourhood planning, inter-generational and inclusive youth engagement, citizenship and resilience and engagement with urban biodiversity.

Together we collaboratively design (co-design) and produce innovative tools and methods, built through collaborative, inclusive research and creativity - These tools often utilise accessible digital technology and collaborative making methods and the testing of creative, spaces.

Community21 was founded by designer Nick Gant in 2010 who has been working in the material, sustainability and social design space for over 20 years and Action in Rural Sussex Deputy Chief Executive Teresa Gittins and has grown to facilitate an international community of practice.

We have generated practical, open tools (some of which are accessible here on Community21 website) and creative spaces that use new technologies, craft, materials and (re)making methods. We have disseminated research to government departments, NGOs and charities, large corporate brands and industry, developers and local authorities.

Our clients, collaborating partners and funders have included (not exhaustive) The Nominet Trust, The NHS and UK Milk Bank, Veolia, PUMA, The Marine Conservation Society, Incredible Oceans, New Balance, Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, Dream Catcher Foundation (South Africa) Eco-Bali (Indonesia), The British Council, The Design Council, The V&A and Natural History Museums, The Arts and Humanities Research Council, The National and Heritage Lottery.

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Who are we then?

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Community21 forms part of a collaborative research project lead by The University of Brighton and Founder Nick Gant. Find out more!

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Community21's toolkit

Practical tools co-designed by communities for communities that engage with a range of 'bottom-up' defined topics

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