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GSA Innovation School’s co-design expertise brought to Alloa fuel poverty project

A team from The Glasgow School of Art will be working with the communities of Alloa as part of a major research project aimed at investigating energy challenges in the Clackmannanshire town it has been announced.

The project, which is led by the University of Stirling, has an overarching aim of understanding the everyday energy challenges facing disadvantaged communities and exploring – through engagement, collaboration and innovative co-creation – pathways towards a healthier, wealthier and greener future for local people.

The Glasgow School of Art’s expertise in co-design will be brought to the project with a team from the Innovation School set to work with the communities of southern and eastern Alloa exploring together how energy should be used, generated and shared in Clackmannanshire.

“Fuel poverty and climate change are important issues facing society,” says Gemma Teal, Research Fellow at The Glasgow school of Art. “The GSA’s Innovation School is delighted to be a partner with the University of Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council on this important project.”

“Participatory and co-design approaches ensure end users are fully involved in the process,” she adds. We are looking forward to working closely with the communities of Alloa to understand more about the real day-to-day impacts of energy use and fuel poverty on their lives, so as to support them in influencing positive changes for a healthier, greener energy future.”

The project is funded under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Citizen Science Exploration Grants and Enhancing Place-Based Partnerships awards. The programme is funding 53 projects, worth £1.4 million, to enable members of the public to actively contribute to research and innovation projects that affect their lives.

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI, said: “This is one of 53 pilot projects that we have funded; all using exciting ways that researchers and innovators can involve the public in their work. In 2020 and beyond, we will build on the lessons we learn through funding these pilot projects to help usachieve our ambition of making research and innovation responsive to the knowledge, priorities and values of society and open to participation by people from all backgrounds.”

An exhibition will travel around a number of locations and local community centres in May to share the findings of the project.

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