British Council launches Making Matters, China Design Challenge


An open call to Chinese university students in Mainland China and the UK to explore circular design

BEIJING, CHINA – Media OutReach – 27 September 2021 – The British Council launched Making Matters, China Design Challenge. Themed “fall in love with the future through circular design”, the Challenge aims to discover young creative talents and to facilitate an exchange of dialogue around circular design. The Challenge is part of Making Matters, sponsored by IM Motors and co-developed by Manchester Metropolitan University and Young Green Tech. Chinese university students in Mainland China and the UK are invited to apply by 8 November 2021 through WeChat account Younggreentech.


Making Matters was launched in 2018 by the British Council with an aim to explore how principles of the circular economy can be a catalyst for creativity, collaboration and regenerative thinking within architecture, design and fashion practice through its multi-disciplinary programme. Circular design involves creating products and services that minimise the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions to result in less waste and more value added to the ecosystem. Open to Chinese students in universities in Mainland China and the UK, Making Matters, China Design Challenge encourages students to rethink the role of design today and how to create positive change through circular design.


Eligible applicants can apply individually or form a team of up to 6 members to submit a proposal outlining an issue or concern that their circular design addresses by 8 November 2021. The judging panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria in two phases:

  • Social impact – applicants’ sense of social responsibility and concern for global challenges, with the ambition to make positive change through circular design
  • Communication – applicants’ ability to express their ideas, present their project and communicate with mentors and judges
  • Academic performance – applicant’s understanding of circular design and how they can adapt a circular approach through their proposal
  • Potential, feasibility and relation – feasibility of the proposed idea to materialise in real life and its potential for further development, as well as it’s relevancy to the community or the planet
  • Critical thinking – applicants’ ability to think critically and logically
  • Innovation – applicants’ ability to develop innovative product, provide creative solutions, or conduct meaningful research with a circular design practice
  • Achievement and improvement – applicants’ ability to make progress through newly acquired knowledge and skills, as well as deepen understanding and change perception

30 semi-finalists will be shortlisted on 15 November 2021 and invited for an in-person presentation in Shanghai. 15 finalists will be selected to enter the second stage. In April 2022 for the final presentation in Beijing, one grand champion and 4 runners-up will be announced. The grand champion and runners-up will receive a prize of CNY 24,000 (~GBP 2,210/ USD 3,720) and CNY 12,000 (~GBP 1,350/ USD 1,860) respectively, with an internship opportunity with IM Motors, Young Green Tech and other supporting organisations. A documentary will be produced to record all the finalists’ projects.


While the semi-finalists will be selected by the organisers, a judging panel will be responsible to select 15 finalists. Details of the judges will be announced in due course.

Rehana Mughal, Director Arts China at British Council and Counsellor (Culture and the Arts) at Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy said, “Making Matters is all about supporting emerging talents from the world of design, giving them the opportunity to showcase innovation, creativity and solutions to reduce our impact on the environment. Climate Change is one of the biggest shared challenges we all face, and all of us can make a difference in reducing our impact on the environment. We hope that through this exciting collaboration, rising stars of design can benefit from international collaborations and partnership needs to take their ideas from the drawing board to reality.”

For further details on the Making Matters, China Design Challenge, please visit


Making Matters, China Design Challenge

Organiser: British Council

Strategic partner: IM Motors

Co-organisers: Manchester Metropolitan University and Young Green Tech (YGT) 

Programme portal:  

British Council WeChat ‘bc-china’ and ‘UK_NOW’

British Council Weibo @英国大使馆文化教育处, @艺述英国


Strategic Partner:

IM Motors

IM Motors – Spearheading the Intelligent Mobility.

Jointly founded by SAIC Motor, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Group and Alibaba Group on December 25, 2020. A hi-tech company leveraging big data from consumer engagement to drive innovations of green and intelligent mobility. A pioneer in redefining the relationship between consumers and enterprises in the era of artificial intelligence.



Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University is a great modern university, in a great global city, here to make an impact on Manchester, our nation and beyond, with a driving ambition to discover and disseminate knowledge, and make higher education accessible and beneficial to all those with the passion and ability to succeed.  We work closely with our city, with business, the community and our academic peers – locally, nationally and internationally – to be inventive and creative, generate great opportunities, and enable our students, colleagues and everyone whose lives we touch to make an impact.


Young Green Tech (YGT) 

YGT is an exchange program that empowers young creators and doers to create transformative solutions. YGT aims to encourage the youth generation to use innovative methods and ideas to propose solutions to the environmental challenges we face. Every year, we select the most potential and innovative youth environmental protection business projects from all over the world, and help them succeed through mentor guidance, public display, in-depth training and docking investment, so as to cultivate young environmental protection entrepreneurs who changed the world and produce greater social demonstration effect.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

Please visit our official website in Chinese for detailed programme.

We will update our programme on daily basis through our social media accounts, please stay tuned with us on:

Weibo @英国大使馆文化教育处 @艺述英国


bc-china (英国大使馆文化教育处)

UK_NOW (艺述英国)

#British Council