Robert O’Dowd reprises Dott 07 role in Cornwall

Robert O’Dowd, executive producer of Designs of the Time 2007, has been appointed executive director Dott Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

O’Dowd (pictured), who has been acting as a consultant for Dott Cornwall, says he will have the same role he had in 2007’s North East event and is now working to develop the Cornish project. A programme director will be appointed to work alongside him.

Prior to his work on Dott 07, where he collaborated with programme director John Thackara, O’Dowd has been director of Classic FM and chief executive of Real Health (UK).

He says Dott Cornwall, which is being delivered by a partnership between the Design Council, Cornwall County Council and University College Falmouth, will have the same ‘frame’ as Dott 07, although the range of projects will be different.

O’Dowd says, ‘In Cornwall, as in the North East, we will have public design commissions and skills sector programmes, and will look to share that knowledge with the community.

‘As we are working closely with European-funded projects, the range of projects will be different, but the principles applied will be the same as in Dott 07.’

He says Dott Cornwall’s funding structure, which will see it work closely with European-funded projects, means it will be more ‘embedded’ in the region than it was in the North East.

O’Dowd adds that one thing he wants to improve on in Dott Cornwall is the engagement of the design community, which he says ‘did not go quite as deep as we wanted it to’ in the North East. He says, ‘I think the main legacy in the North East was the legacy to the community for them to embrace design. I think we engaged with them very well, and the projects we worked on live on now in legacy, but it is up to us to bring the design sector with us.’

David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council, says, ‘Robert is a class act and brings with him a lot of experience. The essence of the Dott programme is very much intact – it will be about community-led innovation, the big projects that will make a lasting difference, and about embedding a legacy.’

DOTT Cornwall and the isles of scilly

  • A programme director is set to be appointed to work alongside executive director Robert O’Dowd
  • Further project announcements are expected, to join current Dott projects, which include the Pengegon Community Centre in Pool and the development of a new road, to turn the A3047 into a public transport pathway
  • O’Dowd says that although all projects unveiled so far are capital projects, ‘in reality’ the majority of Dott Cornwall projects are now skills-based

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