Design with people!

The RSA/NESTA design directions winners were announced recently.

The brief I was involved in developing and judging was –

Engage! : Catalysing social change through design-led citizen participation

…. otherwise known as 

designers working with real people to come up with new ideas to solve social problems.

One of the problems we came across when writing up the original brief was grappling with unweildy terminology and the disparity between more traditional design values (a snazzy end product and demonstration of flair or expertise) compared with this type of design (a user-centred process and excellent light-touch facilitation skills).

 Exactly how to get the message about user-centredness and a facilitation approach to design was tough – but we must have done something right as the Engage! brief got some fantastic entries which far exceeded the scope of the brief in various different ways.

The final winner was Alex Ostrowski who worked with  the Frenchay brain injury rehabilitation unit in Bristol to assist the process of re-orientation following post-traumatic amnesia.

Check out the online gallery featuring all of the finalists here.


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