Low Carb Lane
The UK Design Council just published — a little late — four short case studies based on the experience of Dott07, a year of community projects, events and exhibitions based in North East England and curated by John Thackara, that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like – and how design could help us get there.

New work
Work isn’t what it used to be. Across the UK, a significant portion of the workforce does not have a traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday job. Around 13% of working people work for themselves and many more work in very small or micro businesses employing one to five people, where factors like location and working hours can be very different from working in a large corporation.
In the North East, 88% of working people are employed by micro businesses. Those who took part in the New Work project during Dott07 agreed that new ways of working offer new opportunities, but also bring new problems.

Our new school
In 2007 Walker Technology College in Newcastle received £13m funding from the government’s £70bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme to renovate its buildings. Headteacher Steve Gater knows how big an opportunity this is. ‘The last thing we want to have with our BSF project is a new old school,’ he says. He wants a school that helps the 1,200 pupils get the most out of learning and fits into the community. That’s where designers at Dott 07 came in.

Move me
Growing emphasis is being put on cutting pollution in the UK by reducing our use of transport. But millions of us still need to move by car, bus or train each day. In the village of Scremerston in Northumberland, getting around was problematic. Many villagers don’t own cars or faced a lack of regular and affordable public transport to get them to school, work or hospital appointments.

Low Carb Lane
As part of Dott 07 designers wanted to tackle domestic energy consumption. So a design team set themselves the aim of reducing the energy consumption of one house in Castle Terrace, Ashington, by 60%.