Director of design


Sophie Thomas has been working in the fields of sustainable design, behaviour change and material process through her design agency, Thomas.Matthews for over 15 years and as director of design for useful simple projects.

She has extensive practical experience in the delivering award-winning, innovative and highly sustainable communication pieces. She has worked with complex and multi-layered clients from the public consultation programme for the Olympic Park Legacy Masterplan, to the wayfinding signage and identity for the award winning Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

Through her campaigning work she has founded a number of social enterprises that aim to advance the design industry’s capacity to respond to environmental challenges through knowledge sharing and investigation. She is currently Co-director of Design in the Action Research Centre at the RSA.

A long term interest in materials led Thomas to share her experience of closed loop thinking with other designers. In 2012, she founded the Great Recovery, a programme to build capacity and understanding of circular design in the materials supply chain, now running through the RSA.

She has assisted global businesses and UK government organisations to define the role of designers within discussions around waste streams, resource efficiency and circular economies, and has worked with major organisations including Proctor and Gamble, Howies and Samsung on new models for circular business, internal communication of sustainable systems and external sustainability campaigns.

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