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Comments Posted 08.01.07 | PERMALINK | PRINT

John Thackara

Dott Debates Announced + Custard Pies [August 2007]


This free monthly newsletter starts conversations on issues to do with design for resilience — and thereby reveals opportunities for action. It also brings you news of Doors of Perception events and encounters. Back issues are now archived on Design Observer. To subscribe to future newletters by John Thackara click here.

DOTT 07 DEBATES
The Dott 07 Festival (15-28 October) brings together the results of projects across North East England that explore what life in a sustainable region could be like - and how design can help us get there. During the Festival, a series of debates will ask: what did we learn, and what do we do next? Participation in the debates is free, but you have to reserve a place in advance.

DEBATE 1: THE MOVEMENT DILEMMA
Can transport and tourism ever be sustainable? The movement of people and goods around the world consumes vast amounts of matter, energy, space and time - most of it non-renewable. Could transport intensity be de-coupled from economic progress - and if so, how? The debate begins with a keynote from Antony Townsend, research director at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto. There follows a review of Dott 07’s Move Me project, which explored the potential to transfrom transportation resource efficiency in one village, and the results of Dott's Sustainable Tourism Design Camp. Thursday 18 October, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – 13:00-17:00.To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

DEBATE 2: DESIGN ACTION FOR SEXUAL HEALTH
Design and Sexual Health. Healthcare professionals and service designers, together with citizens and service providers , debate the lessons learned from the DaSH project. Design and Sexual Health (the DaSH project) confronted a challenge: sexual health clinics can be so unwelcoming that people, who need to visit them, don’t. Dott worked with Gateshead PCT to make sexual health testing and treatment services easier to access and use. Friday 19 October, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, 10:30-14:00. To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

DEBATE 3: THE JOURNEY THROUGH DEMENTIA
Dott 07’s Alzheimer 100 project charted the key stages of the journey through dementia in collaboration with people with dementia and their carers. What opportunities for service design innovation exist on that journey? Service ideas that emerged from co-design workshops range from time banking, to assistive technology. This debate is organised in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Society nationally. Friday 19 October, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – 15:00-17:30. To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

DEBATE 4: FOOD SYSTEMS AND CITIES
Up to 25 percent of the ecological footprint of a city can be attributed to the systems which keep it fed and watered. This international debate, organised jointly with Doors of Perception, reframes food systems as design opportunities.The day opens with a review of Dott's Urban Farming project in Middlesbrough: it involved more than a thousand citizens and dozens of organisations, and plans for a second year are already well advanced. Monday 22 October, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, 11:00-16:00. To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

DEBATE 5: LOW CARB LANE
More and more of us would like to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, especially at home. But how to do it? Wind turbines? Fuel cells? Solar panels? Wood-chip boilers? There are many choices, but it’s hard to choose. It’s also hard to pay. Low Carb Lane tackled these challenges head-on in a real street: Castle Terrace in Ashington. Tuesday 23 October, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art 12:00 –16:00. To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

DEBATE 6: SUSTAINABILITY, SCHOOLS, AND SCHOOLING
One group above all others has a stake in the transition to sustainaility: today's school students. Are we giving them enough leeway to shape the world they will live in? The debate begins with a review of two projects: In Eco Design Challenge, Dott challenged year eight students across the North East with two questions: "how big is your school's ecological footprint?"; and, "what design steps would make it smaller?". We will hear how they fared. A second Dott project, Our New School, asked: "“How do we create schools that prepare our children for their futures?". Teachers, parents, students, policymakers and designers will debate: what lessons have been learned? how do we scale up these experiments? Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art 15:00-17:30. To reserve your place email adam.thomas@dott07.com or visit:
http://www.dott07.com

PART 2: OTHER NOTICES

CUSTARD PIE CALL
Frederico Duarte wins my project of the month award. The most famous of the Portuguese cakes, the Pastel de Nata (Custard Tart), shows up everyday in counters and tables of thousands of people all over the World. From São Paulo to London, from Singapore to Maputo, how do all the incarnations, names and adulterations of this Portuguese icon reflect the original delicacy? Duarte has issued a worldwide call for cake photographs from all the places on Earth where these cakes are sold, bought and eaten. Please look out for Pastel de Nata and Bolo de Arroz in your city, photograph it and send it to his group. If you don't have a flickr account email the photo to him and he'll put it there, and credit it to you
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabricoproprio/

GOVERNMENT AGAINST GREENWASH
My other project of the month award goes to the UK government. The term greenwashing applies when companies (or governments) spend more money or time advertising being green, than on investing in environmentally sound practices. The UK government is taking two potentially important steps that, in the medium term, could become a powerful deterrent against greenwash. Read more at:
http://www.doorsofperception.com/archives/2007/07/greenwash_answe.php

THE DISRUPTERS
Lessons for low-carbon innovation from a new wave of environmental pioneers. This NESTA report tells the stories of eight businesses and organisations that are pursuing low-carbon goals using disruptive innovations.
http://enews.nesta.org.uk/rp//26/process.clsp?t=543Y69GoC9mm

SUV OF BILLBOARDS
What will be the impact of large scale integrated displays on architecture and urbanism? Will these people ask our permission before transforming public space with energy guzzling screens? I added that second question because it does not appear in the programme of this conference in London. 11 and 12 September 2007 Central Saint Martins Innovation Centre, London.
http://www.mediaarchitecture.com

GOODBY PRIVACY?
Seamless surveillance panopticon - or freedom of expression? This year's Ars Electronica Festival delves into what the public and private spheres have come to mean and the interrelationship that now exists between them. 5. - 11. September 2007, Linz, Austria.
http://www.aec.at/privacy

$100k FOR DESIGN REVOLUTION
The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) announces the launch of a challenge that will award $100,000 annually for the development and implementation of "a solution with significant potential to solve the world's most pressing problems in the shortest possible time while enhancing the Earth's ecological integrity".
http://challenge.bfi.org

WHAT DO THEY CREATE?
A newsletter from the UK Parliamentary Design Group asks me, "Did you know that the creative and cultural industries account for 7.3% of the UK economy, comparable in size to the value of the financial services industry?'. To which my response is, "yes, but isn't it about time we stiid back and reflected critically on what it is these industries create?". A big chunk of the creative industries' turnover comes from adland, where spending will break through the $400 billion mark this year: That's $555 per person in the USA (compared to $209 per head in France, $25 in Latin America and $8 in China). And what is the purpose of these creative billions? They are spent to stimulate consumption - most of which will be unsustainable.
http://www.designinparliament.org.uk

SIX BILLION DEPRIVED PEOPLE
When we asked "how does reading this newsletter leave you feeling?" 38% of you answered "inspired" and another 48% said "thoughtful". But more than six billion people are not yet subscribers. That's four billion people who could be inspired, but are not. Get them on board!
http://www.doorsofperception.com/Mailinglist/
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If….
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