"How do we want to live?" is a great question. How we close the gap between the answer and the reality is the challenge. Dott (Design Of The Times) is a ten year programme of design innovation that will take place every two years in a different region across the UK. It posed the question and is taking on the challenge.
The aim of Dott is to improve the social, environmental and economic prosperity of the nation and the lives of citizens by involving them in the design and innovation process. It is in response to a new and emerging design approach in the UK and Europe that is challenging the old world of industrial design thinking – that has thus far filled our world with an amazing array of products, buildings, transport and communication networks but produced them in wasteful and sometimes harmful ways. And toward a new paradigm that utilises design and innovation to deliver effective ‘solutions’, which design out social issues and waste and respond to our worldchanging [sic] context. live|work and the Design Council RED team have been spearheading this trend in the UK. Dott07, directed by John Thackera in partnership with the Design Council and ONE North East, is a platform to grow it. Dott07 is leading a number of public commissions to improve aspects of daily life and to design out waste through the use of participatory design in the North East of England. ‘Designers’ will work with the communities, local authorities, national government, public service providers and the private sector to create solutions for the following commissions: Energy and Environment, Sustainable Tourism, School and Community, Health and Wellbeing, Mobility and Access, Town and Country, Food and Nutrition, and Housing and Home.
‘Lo-Carb Lane’ has emerged from the Energy and Environment commission. It has been very much inspired by the domestic energy project ‘selling reduced energy use’, in conjunction with live|work and the Interactive Institute in Sweden (I mentioned in my last post) and the Future Currents project run by RED. Both projects explore how to create awareness of energy consumption, incentive and agency to change behaviours around consumption. Lo-Carb Lane is about enabling an entire community (a street in the North East) to reduce its CO2 emissions through a range of measures like car sharing and insulating homes. It is a prototype of the two projects. Question: a Lo-Carb Avenue in the U.S. maybe? You guys started the Low Carb diet obsession!
Other projects include Future School (reconceptualizing education), Health Wise (tackling teenage pregnancy), Move Move (designing new methods of transportation/mobility), Smart Town (wireless living) and City Farming (urban farming). Watch this space (or this space Dott07.com) for updates on the work.
Written by Tamara Giltsoff