Design Council’s Andrea Siodmok appointed to Dott Cornwall

Design Council chief design officer Andrea Siodmok (pictured) has been appointed as programme director for Designs of the Time Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

She will join executive producer Robert O’Dowd in shaping the Cornish project.

Siodmok says, ‘My approach is that there are all the ingredients in Dott Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to do an internationally significant job. The projects we will run will not be blue-sky and academic – they will be practical, and we want to have the best teams around the table to do that.’

One of her first moves will be to add to the Dott design roster, which is currently 24-strong, in order to engage local design groups.

Speaking of the differences between Dott Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and its predecessor Dott 07 in the North East, Siodmok says, ‘John Thackara [Dott 07 programme director] did a fantastic job. He put the fundamentals in place, particularly in terms of engaging local people.

‘But this is Dott 2.0 and it has to move on. The context is very different – even if we took the same approach as we did in the North East, the results would be different because of the geographical context.’

She adds, ‘We want to do real projects to make a difference and demonstrate how to do things better. This could also raise the spirits of local people in a difficult economic situation. We want to make every penny count.’

The Design Council is now recruiting a chief design officer to replace Siodmok, and is also recruiting a director of policy – a newly created role. Interim chief design officer Marianne Guldbrandsen has replaced Siodmok on a temporary basis.

Siodmok has been chief design officer since 2007, and was previously head of design knowledge at the Design Council from 2004-07. Prior to that she was a senior lecturer in design at the University of Northumbria, and worked as an industrial designer for Newcastle-based consultancy Octo Design.

Dott Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly:

  • Three new skills projects are now up and running or set to launch/ a skills project to help older people get back into work; an eco-design challenge, similar to the one in Dott 07, to help Year Eight pupils reduce their schools’ carbon footprints; and a hothouse project aimed at 14- to 19-year-olds to help them develop entrepreneurship skills
  • A Dott advisory board has been set up, which features Royal Society of Arts director of design Emily Campbell, Eden Project foundation director Dr Tony Kendle, and Ezio Manzini, professor of industrial design at Milan Polytechnic

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