Businessweek magazine did an interesting article about the work of sustainable design guru, John Thackara. As the Program Director for the year-long Dott 07 (Designs of the Time 2007) Festival, Thackara has innovatively linked communities in the northeast of England with product-designers promoting social change and sustainable living. Six aspects of typical daily life are being challenged, including health issues, food, school, energy, tourism and travel.

A number of things are pretty remarkable about Dott 07. For one thing, Thackara centered activities in the struggling, post-industrial northeast of England. It’s an area that has been in slow decline for the past 20 or 30 years, since the area’s chemical industry slid painfully but inexorably into oblivion.

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