7th September 2001 at 01:00
WALL TO WALL DESIGN. By the Intermediate Technology Development Group. ITDG Publishing pound;10.50 + pound;1.50 VAT. Tel: 020 7436 9761 TES Direct pound;9.50

This photocopiable pack for key stage 3 introduces issues of sustainability in the design and technology curriculum. Two detailed and fascinating case studies of very different communities show how they designed sustainable solutions to housing problems.

The first focuses on the Maasai community in Kajiado in Kenya. Traditionally a nomadic people, the Maasai women have always had the responsibility for building their temporary homes, called enkaji. With the spread of towns and cities, and the increase in farming and national park land, many Maasai families have been forced to give up their nomadic way of life. The women in Kajiado asked ITDG Kenya to help them design permanent new homes. Working with designers, the women drew up plans that overcame the problems of their traditional shelters, using sustainable local materials.

The second study looks at the Hockerton Housing Project in Nottinghamshire, Britain's first self-sufficient ecological housing development. The five families involved wanted homes that are environmentally friendly with no loss of comfortable modern amenities. They worked with architects to create five terraced houses that are among the most energy efficient in Europe.

The pack includes posters, teacher's notes, the case studies, a look at building structures and an excellent section on building materials. Fact sheets and activity sheets provide plenty of information and opportunities for designing and making. This is a refreshing book with considerable cross-curricular potential that places people and the environment at the centre of learning about materials technology.

Roz Reyburn is an education consultant for design and technology

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