doors of perception portfolio

Travel Without Moving (Design clinic on ‘sustainability immobility’ at Pixelache Festival, Helsinki, 2009)

Many of us are confronted by a painful dilemma: the only way to reduce our ecological footprint of flying is to stop flying – and yet we feel we need to travel for our work, and to see loved ones. Can modern transport and tourism ever be sustainable? After all, the movement of people and […]

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City Eco Lab (Sustainability festival, St Etienne, France, 2008)

City Eco Lab was a two-week festival of projects that took place in November in St Etienne, France. These 50-plus projects involved productive urban gardens; low energy food storage; communal composting solutions; re-discovery of hidden rivers; neighbourhood energy dashboards; de-motorised courier services; and a wide variety of software tools to help people share resources. This […]

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Eco Design Challenge (Schools’ sustainability competition, North East England, 2006-2007)

In Dott07’s Eco Design Challenge, more than fifteen thousand school students used custom–designed calculators to measure their school’s eco-footprint. They then ran projects to design lighter alternatives to the systems (food, water, transport, energy and waste) operating in their school. Many schools, with some modest help from Dott, invited professional designers in to help with […]

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Designs of the Time (Dott07) (Sustainability festival, North East England. 2007)

Doors of Perception’s director, John Thackara, was programme director of Designs of the time (Dott 07), a year of community design projects in North East England that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like – and how design can help us get there. It was an initiative of the UK Design Council […]

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Food systems: the design agenda (Doors of Perception 9, New Delhi, 2007)

Global food systems are becoming unsustainable in terms of environmental impact, health, and social quality. Up to 40 percent of the ecological impact of an ‘advanced’ city can be attributed to its food systems. But what to do? Doors of Perception 9 – on the theme of “Juice” – explored issues at the intersection of […]

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Aspen Design Summit (international conference, Aspen, 2006 )

AIGA, the US professional association for design, and IDCA, the International Design Conference at Aspen, invited John Thackara to chair the Aspen Design Summit. Conceived as “a new type of gathering for a new century”, this celebrated event brought design-minded leaders from around the world to Aspen, Colorado to make positive, measurable impacts on the […]

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Social Innovation Observatory ‘Emude” (European design research consortium, 2005-2007)

Someone, somewhere, has designed some of the services or situations that we will need in a sustainable society – so why repeat things? Novel ways to share food, move around, or care for each other, already exist – but they are often off the radar and therefore unavailable for the rest of us to copy […]

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Platforms for social innovation (Doors of Perception 8 on “Infra”, New Delhi, 2005)

What does it mean to design a platform for social innovation? Doors of Perception 8 on the theme of “infra” took place in New Delhi, India. The event involved designers and entrepreneurs from different parts of the world. Highlights included Margrit Kennedy, a world authority on complementary currencies, who anticipated the 2007- gobal financial crash. […]

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Tools For Citizen Services (Project Leaders Round Table, Amsterdam, 2004

What are the key success factors in setting up design research projects? In November 2004, jointly with Virtual Platform, we organised a meeting in Amsterdam for sixty project leaders from 10 countries to discuss this question. When inviting participants, we focussed on projects that addressed real-world issues or situations; were collaborations between more than two […]

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