Design Role: Facilitating: DOTT07

Participation was supported in different forms during Dott07. Project teams used various formats such as Design camps, explorer clubs, co-design sessions, design into schools, community awards, events, activities (urban farming) and installations. Some were more oriented to engage various stakeholders in the design process, collecting data and exploring ideas, others were more oriented in ‘doing’ and ‘seeing’ things differently or together, generating interest and engagement in the communities. In order to reach a large part of the population the modes to engage and reach out people should have been as diverse as possible. Often design driven projects were solution oriented, engaging only interested parties, while artist driven performances and installations could sometimes reach out wider population acting with different aims.

As an example the Urban Farming project was directed by David Barrie and supported by Zest Innovation (service design consultancy) and Debra Solomon (artist and author of culiblog.com). More then 80 groups such as schools, residential homes, allotment associations, mental health units, voluntary organizations, etc. participated to the ‘soil to table’ project. The local council provided some areas of the main local park to be cultivated by the participants with the support of local horticulturalists, allotment growers, farmers and food producers. After few months with the harvested ingredients they organized a ‘kitchen playground’ event with activities going on for three weeks and a final ‘Meal for Middlesbrough’ for 1500 people in the town’s main square.

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