For 5 years Faye and I (Siobhan) are continuously trying to figure out, which box we fit. As social designers, we can finally explain our added value in various complex challenges. Not only the outcome is our strength, but also the design process that leads to this design. To deepen our understanding of how to interact with our client on an organizational level we are going back to school! We look forward to the Erasmus Academy program ‘Public Design: Design Denken in het Publieke Domein’.
Art for art’s sake versus art as a part of an integral design process
In almost all our projects, we try to collaborate with artists. We believe in the strengths of artists and their worldview in conveying stories that matter. However, long before an artist comes into the picture, we are strategically and practically involved in framing and shaping the design through research by design. Our internal design process starts from the first conversation with our client. On top of that, the works of art we create are first and foremost applied designs, solving a practical or spatial challenge. By collaborating with artists, we can create an additional layer that oftentimes showcases local identity in a recognizable and iconic manner. Unfortunately, (Dutch) societies’ perception of the place and role of art is still based on the autonomous artistic value. Oftentimes when we have initial conversations with specific departments of municipalities, e.g. the department focusing on sports or climate adaptation, we are redirected to the art department.
How to break down these traditional design processes?
With our entire team, we often wonder how we can break down these traditional design processes in larger institutions. Our clients include municipalities, developers, architects and social housing companies. Many of these organizations are open to a different perspective on designing a future proof public space, but often their organizational structure does not allow them to.
This is why Faye and I decided to go back to school! The program ‘Public Design: Design Denken in het Publieke Domein’ (Public Design: Design Thinking in the Public Realm), focuses on exactly the type of organization we are working with. It discusses how to design stakeholder processes in complex social issues and how to stimulate peers and colleagues to get on board with out-of-the-box ideas. We can’t wait to meet like-minded policy advisors, innovation managers, area managers and other parties to learn more about their train of thought and how to collaborate better!
About Erasmus Academy and the program Public Design
Erasmus Academy offers training and courses to deepen one’s knowledge. By looking for connections between academic education and current social and cultural issues, they provide education that bridges science, work and society. The ‘Public Design: Design Denken in het Publieke Domein’ program is taught by Alexander van Altena and Hans Roburtus, both experienced in innovating design processes in large organizations.
Are you ready for the conversation?
Are you curious how design thinking can be useful in your organization and daily work? The classes are divided into 8 days/sessions and will start on November 2nd 2021 to December 14th.
Join us here!