Dott Cornwall unveils its final major project

Designs of the Time Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will launch the Big Design Challenge in October, which will invite communities to identify and tackle local issues by co-developing their ideas with designers and entrepreneurs.

This will be the last major Dott Cornwall project.

The project, supported by the Technology Strategy Board, will also aim to develop practical tools to help people turn the big issues of society into business opportunities.

Andrea Siodmok, programme director of Dott Cornwall, says, ’The political background is the Big Society idea. It’s “DIY politics”/ bringing people together with the enabling elements of designers – creativity, innovation and entrepreneurialism.’

The challenge will be managed by Falmouth-based design group Sea Communications, which won the tender after pitching against some 14 other groups two weeks ago.

Sea co-director Robert Woolf, says, ’Being based in Cornwall we have a real sense of what the issues are. We live, breathe and are passionate about the area, and I think that really shone through.’

Woolf says Sea will use creative techniques to engage people and stimulate debate, becoming ’the conduit between citizens and professional designers’.

Following the success of Dott’s previous projects – particularly the schools Eco Design Challenge – Siodmok says they will be using the ’citizens as clients’ idea.She adds, ’The underlying issue is sustainability. We’ll be demonstrating a sustainable model, and using it to deliver things local people want.’

Dott has already spoken with 123 councillors across Cornwall about the issues that matter most to them. Responses included seagulls, litter, traffic, and broader issues of keeping young people inspired and reinvigorating village life.

The Big Design Challenge will feature as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, from 15-21 November. The project will culminate next March, when a judging panel will select about ten communities to be funded and mentored following a Dragon’s Den-style pitch. There will also be an overall Community Innovation Award winner.

Siodmok adds, ’We’ll be able to demonstrate the value of design to the Big Society. A key aspectis creating tools – some will be online and digital – that mean anyone can be part of developing their own solutions.’

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