Xskool Workshops


Innovation means connecting with new people and contexts. The outcomes of a Doors of Perception Xskool are, typically: a shared perception of new opportunities; a good idea of how to make them happen; new connections between motivated and effective people; and a commitment to take further action. Here below are some examples:


(Forthcoming, May, Ganges, France)
Xskool Ganges, France. May 2014

(Forthcoming, August, Grinda)
Summer Xskool in Sweden


Katoomba, New South Wales
Together with the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, we brought together local government officials artists, designers, environmentalists, teachers, students, architects, tourism operators and business people.

XSKL Katoomba

Barcelona, Informal Economy Conference (with Claro Partners)
When Claro Partners hosted the first Informal Economy Symposium in Barcelona, we ran an xskool session (below) about  food systems and watershed restoration.


Fremantle, Australia
In Freemantle we explored ways to accelerate the growth of social micro-enterprises – with a special focus on the kind of hub, lab, or platform needed to sustain this kind of work through time. The highlight of our work was a visit (below) to Myre, the world’s biggest pop-up store.


Brisbane, Asia Pacific Design Library, Sustainable Tourism
We brought together five eco-tourism businesses for a hands-on day that combined a lecture, brainstorm and service design clinic. For David Morgans, Queensland’s Director Destination & Market Development, the day “helped me to see opportunities and  challenged me to look outside the square for solutions & inspiration”


Grinda Island, Stockholm Archipelago
In what ways can design help people interact with living systems in ways that help both of them thrive? And, what small practical steps might one take to test the effect of small actions on the system as a whole? These two questions informed our  xskool on the island of Grinda. It was a partnership with Konstfackwith the participation KADK in Denmark as part of the FuturePerfect Festival

aa XSKL herbs 3 women

UnBox Festival Delhi, India
Cycle commerce as an ecosystem 



Sao Paulo, Brazil
Together with Box1824, we organized a learning journey to favelas, organic kitchens, watersheds – and a creative digital hub. We visited a favela called Brasiliandia (below)to learn about plans to regenerate damaged local watersheds.

Istanbul, Turkey
Growing The BioCity was a a workshop for architects, city developers and planners.Among the topics we discussed was the use of media to share food knowledge between city and country (see below).

Zurich, Switzerland
In Zurich Eco Lab we connected grassroots social innovators with service design students. One of the green gems in the Zurich’s ecology scene, Suppen und Pedale (below) have grown their soup delivery business from 10 litres to 1,000 litres a day.

zurich peddalen soup.png

West Lexham, England
We took 18 social innovators to explore the concept of a rural enterprise hub at an old Norfolk farm. We cooked meals in a cob oven (below) met with local brewers, and built a path.

Bangor, North Wales
For an xskool entitled Innovation In A Small Nation, we explored how a resilient economy can emerge in a region with one foot in a rural economy, its other in a world of universities and nuclear power (below).

Fiat Isvor, Brazil
I challenged forty designers and managers from Fiat Isvor to construct a manifesto on the theme mobility – with the instruction  not to design any cars. They responded brilliantly!



Angsbacka, Sweden
At the first Future Perfect Festival, in Sweden, our conversations were face-to-face, not face-to-screen – sometimes in the permaculture garden shown below.

Luzern, Switzerland,
In  an xskool event called Asset Hunting, groups of masters design students set out to find a neglected social or ecological asset somewhere in Luzern. One group  proposed to increase the value of a church (below) as a meeting place by opening it up to bouldering in the city.

For  a Who Needs Oil, Road Trip we discovered that that Reykjavik will soon boast *the* coolest new social hub around – this disused electricity power station. From left to right (above) are our hosts: Dori Gislason, Andri Snaer Magnason, Soley Stefansdottir.

HIGHLIGHTS 2000-2010

St Etienne, France
We organised City Eco Lab (below) as centrepiece for the main French design biennial. 80,000 visitors came to interact with more than 50 projects from the region; they met urban farmers, watershed restorers, and bicycle couriers – and  ate at Cantine 50km.

St Etienne, Design Clinics
Common to all our xskools is an over-riding question: In what ways can design help people interact with living systems in ways that help both of them thrive?  Shown below, a group from the Casino supermarket on a visit to the urban farming section of City Eco Lab.

cv JT CityEcoLab

New Delhi, India
In Doors of Perception 9 on food systems and design, we took specialists from 20 global citiesto the markets,communal kitchens, street food (below) and farms of Delhi.

This (below) was our convention centre at Doors 9 on food systems.  Every evening, with Indian experts, we discussed the lessons learned on these expeditions.


North East England
For Designs Of The Time, the UK’s social innovation biennial, we ran live projects that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like. More than 20,000 citizens came to the Dott Festival (below) on the banks of the River Tyne.


Thing Link
A highlight of Dott, in 2007, was a presentation called Thing-Link (below) about the potential of tracking technologies to enhance transparency in supply chains.


Alzheimer 100
Also for Dott07, we enabled people with dementia and their carers to describe the range of practical actions that might improve their lives. They presented these stories at our festival on the banks of the River Tyne.

Bangalore, India
As part of Doors East 2, we took our delegates (below) to meet researchers at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).


Halifax, Nova Scotia
Doors of Perception helped to organise Four Days Halifax. Our starting point was that many elements of a resilient Halifax already exist in embryonic form – but not all of them are visible. To change that, we made a pop-up scale model (below) in the middle of the street.

Southern California
In our Sustainable Everyday Life Project Clinic
  we asked, What would life in a sustainable world be like?” Together with The Planning Center, we brought together participants from grassroots organisations (below).


Stanford, Off-Grid Water
Together with Stanford University’s ’Design For Change’ programme, we ran a professional design clinic on the theme of “off-grid water”. It focused on entrepreneurs in the Palo Alto region who were developing tools to help citizens manage water sustainably.


Amsterdam, Project Leaders Round Table



Four Days Halifax (week of sustainability events, Halifax Nova Scotia, 2009)
The Landfill Designers (Programme for BBC Radio 4, 2009)
2012 Imperative Teach-In (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2009)
Off-Grid Water (Service design clinic, Stanford University, 2009)
Sustainable Daily Life (Projects Clinic, The Planning Center, Southern California, 2009)
Travel Without Moving (Design clinic on ‘sustainability immobility’ at Pixelache Festival, Helsinki, 2009)
City Eco Lab (Sustainability festival, St Etienne, France, 2008)
Eco Design Challenge (Schools’ sustainability competition, North East England, 2006-2007)
Designs of the Time (Dott07) (Sustainability festival, North East England. 2007)
Food systems: the design agenda (Doors of Perception 9, New Delhi, 2007)
Aspen Design Summit (international conference, Aspen, 2006 )
Social Innovation Observatory ‘Emude” (European design research consortium, 2005-2007)
Platforms for social innovation (Doors of Perception 8 on “Infra”, New Delhi, 2005)
Tools For Citizen Services (Project Leaders Round Table, Amsterdam, 2004)
Time In Design (24 hour workshop on time and sustainability, Delft. 2003)
Fused Space (A competiton about new ways to use new media, The Netherlands, 2003)
Mobility, Geography, Access (DoorsEast2, Bangalore, India, 2003)
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Helping set up a new instituion, Ivrea, Italy, 2000-2003)
Design and Local Knowledge (Service design conference, Oslo, 2002)
Hong Kong Design Task Force (Expert advice to government task force, Hong Kong, 2002)
Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) (Participation in think-tank, Amsterdam, 2002)
Post-spectacular tourism (Eco-tourism workshop, Narva-Joessu, Estonia, 2002)
The design challenge of pervasive computing (Doors of Perception 7 on Flow, Amsterdam, 2002)
Life in the learning economy (conference for 1,000 professors, Amsterdam, 2001)
The design challenge of pervasive computing (vision development for European Union research consortiumConvivio 2001-2003)
Design and Innovation Research Centre (DIEC) (Planning a new design and innovation centre. Newcastle upon Tyne. 2001)
Quality Time at High Speed (Service innovation workshop, Breda, The Netherlands, 2000)
Local knowledge: the design and innovation of tomorrow’s services (DoorsEast 1, Ahmedabad, India, 2000)
Doors of Perception 6 on “Lightness” (international design conference, Amsterdam, 2000)
Design Clinic for Entrepreneurs (Workshop, Highlands and Islands of Scotland)
Virtual Platform (Advice to Dutch government on new media policy, 2000-2003)
E-Culture Fair ( Marketplace of new media prototypes and research projects, Amsterdam, 2000)



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