Challenging school carbon footprints

Client: Designs Of The Time

Wouldn’t it be great if we could go to school sustainably – by design?

Designs Of The Time (DOTT) was a 10-year programme of design promotion, manifesting every two years and spanning entire regions or nations across the UK. The programme supported and encouraged design as central to the future economic and social success of our country.

Leap was appointed as the senior design producer for the 10-month Eco Design Challenge of DOTT where students calculated their school’s carbon footprint using interactive software (the eco-design calculator) to map their school, revealing which aspects were environmentally friendly or harmful and take design action on.

With the help of partnered professional designer mentors, including industry leaders Sebastian Conran, Sophie Thomas, Dick Strawbridge etc., to think of ideas to improve their school’s carbon footprints. The best designs went forward to a Pecha Kucha, Dragon’s Den-style event where £10,000 was awarded to the winning schools best ideas.

The Impact


5000+ Year 8 pupils, 35 secondary schools, 75 teachers/facilitators trained in using the eco-design challenge calculator and learning tools.


Reduction in energy use, increase in recycling, uptake in walking to school, renewable energy uptake.


1.8 million invested in social and environmental actions as part of the regional programme.

The toolkit went on to be used for other challenges, most noticeably the Water Design Challenge.

I just wanted to email a MASSIVE thank you for all your work in making the Eco Design Challenge such a success. The results speak for themselves, and as far as Dott is concerned, it was really impressive

Dr Andrea Siodmok

Programme Director

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