Skip to content

Knee High Design Challenge: working with the local community

Knee High Design Challenge: working with the local community

8 April 2014 Written by By Mollie Courtenay Junior Designer

We are now approaching the end of the second stage of the Knee High Design Challenge, and our 11 teams are preparing their presentations and reports.

Over the last few months they have been improving elements of their products and services, designing business models and challenging themselves to measure their impact. My last blog highlighted some of the teams experimental research methods.

We are encouraging all the teams to develop their projects through user-centred design so engaging with local families is crucial. This post shares how some of the teams are working to immerse themselves in the local community and what new opportunities and considerations are arising as a result…

New Moments

Mental Health Foundation

As New Moments is building roots in the community, Viviana from the team has been inspired by the incredible generosity of parents offering suggestions for the service as well strategies for engaging more families in the project. All of which is being incorporated into the development of New Moments.

Viviana has also been establishing relationships with the local authorities (Lambeth Children and Young People’s Services, Children’s Centres and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals), who are interested in partnering in delivering New Moments. She hopes that this collaboration will show that it is possible for different sectors to join forces to bring a real change in families’ lives. 

Also the team are delighted to have engaged with their first dad, who has agreed to take part in the programme: his input as been invaluable in highlighting some elements that feel like they are aimed more at mums than dads, and this is helping to reframe some of the communications.

Creative Homes

Tea Dance for Little People

Creative Homes has popped-up a shed in the middle of the Viridian Housing Church Manor Estate near Brixton. The shed provides families on the estate with a hub for creative activity. Throughout March families have come to play in the shed, then return home with a weekly creative challenge. WhatsApp is being used as a tool for the community to share and communicate. The Creative Homes team are posting how-to videos and families respond with pictures of how they’ve taken on the creative challenges at home. 

Cook and Meet

Stockwell Partnership and Brixton People’s Kitchen

Last week Cook and Meet took their group of migrant parents to meet their waste food suppliers at the New Covent Garden Market. As the mums talked with the market staff, they were  shocked to hear the market throw away £2,000 worth of food every week. The group discussed how and when they will collect food for their up-coming cooking sessions.

After the trip, Leila of Stockwell Partnership said “It is starting to feel, for us, like the group of parents really are beginning to take ownership of the project. I am really encouraged by the change in the group, thinking back to how unsure the group was when we first spoke about the idea of them running the project themselves”.

Leapfrog Bus

Sara Tilley

Leapfrog Bus have been in conversation with staff and families at Rotherhithe Children's Centre, the Ovalteenies Stay and Play at St Mark's Church and Henry Fawcett Children's Centre, hoping to understand what is necessary to develop a service that will bring real benefit to local families.

Last week Leapfrog Bus invited those families on 'bus adventures' to exciting places in central London. The service was exclusively for families and parents reported feeling relaxed, able to socialise and excited about their new experience. The trip was the first time many of the families had visited Hyde Park and the trip was enjoyed by all who took part.

As a result of community engagement, partnerships with children's centres have been formed, and moving forward, more opportunities have arisen for Leapfrog Bus to provide positive, fun and safe travel experiences to some isolated and vulnerable families.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to keep up with the latest from the Design Council?

Sign up