An interesting way to use design skills

80588_hdfcf1862b03a0caf8e7a_1024x685_eA few weeks ago we went to Newcastle to see the final exhibition of the very interesting project Dott 07 (Design of the Times). Its a project run by the British Design Council, looking at how design can take part in developing more sustainable ways of living. Designers worked with the communities in North East England for a whole year on the question, how a life in a sustainable region could be? The project focused on the grassroots, looking at real people’s life and how it is possible to find real people-centered solutions. Five aspects of daily life were in focus: Movement, Health, Food, School and Energy. All kinds of community projects, events and exhibitions resulted from the project. Low Carb Lane was a project with a focus on how energy efficiency might be accessible, desirable and affordable for all – rich or poor, owners and renters alike. One of the project leaders in it was the English/Norwegian design office liveIwork. Because energy is invisible it is difficult for people to understand energy-consumption and implications to their energy bills and the environment. So, one of the things LiveIwork created and designed was a real time home energy dashboard, split up in categories for people to understand how they are using energy. And thus give possibility for people to make a strategy of how to save energy. A most interesting project! There were also projects on healt issues like alzheimer and sexual health, local food production, kids working with designers on how to reduce the carbon footprint of their school and lots more. I recommend the Dott website to read about various projects. – The Dott project leader was John Thackara, author of the ‘must read’ book In the Bubble and director of the doors of perception web, one of the most interesting on design, innovation and sustainability. The work of the British Design Council is worth looking at for other countries. Their believe in the use of design in every aspect of society is important. Not just in the more obvious business side where they have researched that companies using design by far outperform the other, but also in using design in all kinds of society projects.

November 18, 2007   Posted in: DESIGN, PONDERINGS