Designing With and Within Public Organizations
Designers collectively experience that a well-designed solution by itself does not lead to the intended change. Designers are often taken by surprise when they meet resistance during the design process, or when they deliver their proposals. In order to make them more successful, we need to design the context that facilitates the design process and its outcomes. There are many thorough books about design approaches – methodologies and instruments. Central goal is to design a good solution, in various forms such as products, services and interactions. These books pay less attention to the question how to establish a design process within organizations, especially within those that are unfamiliar with (and sometimes even hostile towards) a design approach, so that a solutions eventually gets implemented.
The last six years I have built up a practice with designing with and within the public sector – including public-private partnerships. I learned that design approaches put current approaches about change management, project management and collaborating to the test – and vice versa. In all phases of the design process, from contracting an assignment, to empathic research, to reframing and prototyping, we need new sets of playing rules and perhaps even a new language to successfully apply design. In our projects, this is a designated role, we describe as the 'context-builder'.
This book shares the lessons we have learned. My ambition is to deepen the knowledge about design within the public sector. I think this is an important challenge, since a large number of public institutions all over the world are currently experimenting with design. This brings about a lot of enthusiasm, but also disappointment, when process nor outcome can be integrated in the primary processes of the organizations involved.
Designer: Floris van Driel
Binding: Softbound book