Design Council will be offering a Design for Social Innovation stand-alone module within Kingston University’s Sustainable Design MA course from October to December 2014. 

Design for Social Innovation is an emerging mode of design practice, gaining popularity and interest within the design professions and more widely.   As this is a stand-alone module, what we have found is that it is flexible.  Whether students are designers or practitioners from other disciplines it gives them a flavour of design led approaches if they don’t wish to embark on a full MA course.  

Mat Hunter, Design Council’s Chief Design Officer says  "This module will be useful to designers and those who come from the world of frontline public services, who want to learn more about innovation and design – and to gain practical experience with which to develop."

One of the reasons we have developed this module for Kingston University is because we have seen that local authorities are increasingly looking to employ designers to redesign public services and to deliver their programmes more effectively.

The first session

During the first session, facilitated by Iria Lopez and myself from the Design Challenges team, we introduced the students to using design methods and frameworks such as the Double Diamond.  The students were also introduced to a live Design Brief centred around healthcare to research and develop.

We were really interested in the innovative ideas students came up with during a customer journey exercise, out and about in Islington - giving them some personas to assist them. 

Here is one of the examples that came out of the session, showing an idea for an illustrative and informative map of local community activities and public spaces that connect both the young and older age groups:
 

An illustrative map of local services created in the session.

In tackling the live design brief, we are looking to see the students generate ideas, conduct some research and create rapid prototypes to test out their design thinking. 

We look forward to seeing all of the submissions in January 2015.

Find out more about the Design for Social Innovation module on the Kingston University website.

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