Public Sector Design


Public Sector Design

A group about designing for the public sector. If you have experience in this field, or have any thoughts on it please share.

Location: UK
Members: 92
Latest Activity: Aug 17, 2015

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Comment by Elastic on January 11, 2010 at 2:00
No worries. Perhaps we could set up a Skype call at some stage? Might offer you the opportunity to talk to other team members and get some contrasting opinions.
Comment by rufflemuffin on January 11, 2010 at 1:44
Thanks for the info, I find the most fascinating part of the project the 'transformative' element. That you were learning as you were doing it..

At the moment (apart from getgo) I'm working with Skills Development Scotland (huge public sector org in Scotland) to use design thinking to improve services, but it's to be transformative so the ways of thinking like a designer are to be handed over. Very exciting work, holds many questions about the value of designers and if everyone is capable of thinking and acting like designers. Alot of questions I am discovering answers to at the moment!

Might be good to be passed onto someone re the daffodils for the benefits of getgo but also to hear more from you about the team dynamics.
Comment by Elastic on January 11, 2010 at 1:02

So excited to be able to share this with you! Intend on getting up to speed with some of your work (love the Flickr set) so please pass on more links.

Designing Dublin was started by two founders: Jim Dunne and Jean Byrne (whose profiles can be found here and here.)

One of their primary ambitions was to 'facilitate the delivery of a new model of learning for entrepreneurs – ‘Learning to Learn’. This model would provide the tools required to learn Design Thinking, communication skills, team work and conflict resolution.'

Details are a bit sketchy for me but essentially they found Vannesa Ahuactzin and got the Dublin City Council on board as a partner.

Through Vannesa's own insistence, there was no brief. Instead, we simply went into the field and learned by doing. So our objectives gradually revealed themselves through a process of rapid prototyping, conversation, listening, learning, re-iterating etc.

To answer your question regarding the team dynamic. The mix in the team was incredible. As a team, I feel we were well chosen. It was just the right mix of personalities.

As I mentioned before, half of this team were council members and the other half were citizens. On either side, we had a broad mix of disciplines including: an engineer, an accountant, several architects, a couple of landscape architects, someone from service, an arts officer, an area manager, a product designer, fashion designer, textile designer, graphic designer, interaction designer etc.

The difficulties (or should I say challenges) were to do with the intensity of the work and the very tight time scale in which we had to prove the project. It left many of us exhausted! Other than that, I feel that we bonded extremely well and all learned how personal character can sometimes be more valuable than professional knowledge (a tricky balancing act none the less).

I hope this answers all your questions. I haven't had the time to look at your link in full yet but will pass it on to the rest of the DD team members. The bulb planting wasn't a project I was involved in. If you would like me to pass you onto someone who was, I would be glad to.


Comment by rufflemuffin on January 11, 2010 at 0:30
Brian, I've just gone through the project in more detail from the start to end. Love the work. I like the daffodil planting part. Infact with @getgoglasgow we are just planning an event that promotes inter-generational activity and improves the local environment. The project is known as green gorillaz, and we were looking for some kind of guerrilla event, so might go for some guerilla gardening! You can find out a bit more on ours at
Comment by rufflemuffin on January 11, 2010 at 0:22
Hi Brian,

I've been looking through the Dublin project, can you tell me a little more about how it came about, what the brief was, how the mix of people in the team worked out.

How many designers were involved? What were the difficulties and the strengths of a diverse team?


Sarah (think I might do a wee blog about this tomorrow!)
Comment by Elastic on January 10, 2010 at 23:56
Thanks Daniel

I've joined up with you now. Look forward to learning more from you. Very much appreciate your pointers so far.

Comment by Daniel Christadoss on January 10, 2010 at 22:57
I would like to invite you to join Rebizz and the Smart City Service Design Opportunity Group.
I believe it you could enrich the group as you scout for opportunities in your realm. You can also post on the Dublin City project.
You could request the group to look out for projects and the other entrepreneurs in the group may think of something.
Comment by Elastic on January 10, 2010 at 21:25

Thanks for your encouragement. As far as I know, IBM Ireland are familiar with the project. Let's hope they take good things from it :)
Comment by Daniel Christadoss on January 10, 2010 at 15:57
Thanks for giving us a wonderful presentation on your project.
I just went through the links and marveled at what at what has been accomplished with the inter disciplinary team.
I wish you all the best with new projects and funding for realizing the dream. This is how Smart Cities should be built. I hope IBM and others will take a cue from what your team has accomplished.
Comment by Elastic on January 10, 2010 at 15:29
Hi all

Haven't posted in a while but wanted to update you on a project I was involved with. Designing Dublin was a pilot project that ran in conjunction with Dublin City council. For three very intense months, a team of 17 of us worked on a project called finding the hidden potential of place.

The focus of this project was Clongriffin, an unfinished building development in Dublin north. Leading the team was Vannesa Ahuactzin, whose background includes working with Bruce Mau on the project Massive Change. Through her, we were exposed to various tools normally associated with Design Thinking.

It might be worth noting — Our team was made up of: one half Council members; one half citizens. This combination resulted in a rich and potent dynamic that could never have been realised otherwise.

This pilot ended in November and we are now in the process of looking at a possible future for the project. Naturally, we will need funding which is of course becoming harder to find. If anyone could point me towards any other similar projects that they've heard of in order to give us some ideas for a potential business model, I'd really appreciate it.

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