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Mat Hunter explains how our Design Challenges work

Mat Hunter explains how our Design Challenges work

10 September 2013 Written by By Mat Hunter Chief Design Officer, Design Council, 2010-2015

We’re often asked in the Challenges team how we use design methods to tackle big social issues.  We’ve spent the past 5 years honing our approach and tackling ever more complex challenges and it can be a struggle to explain how it all works. And more than that, what impact are we actually making in the world?

Fortunately, with the help of creative agency MultiAdaptor, we have created 2 short videos that clearly explain the power of design and the impact of innovation.  The first video The Journey talks about how the design challenge process works, what makes it so unique and why it’s effective. The second video The Impact highlights some of the design challenges we’ve run in the past, the innovations that have been created and the impact they’ve had. With a catalogue of more than 30 products and services created, we’ve not been able to video them all, but we have written case studies that document the progress to date and next week we'll share links of all the great things they have been up to.

In making these videos, it really brought home to us how much of a difference we’ve made through the Challenges projects we’ve run and the various issues we’ve tackled. From helping people living with dementia stay at home for longer, to reducing the chances of picking up a nasty infection in hospitals, the range of issues has been amazingly diverse and highlights how widely applicable design methods are.

It’s been a privilege to collaborate with the talented, passionate designers and entrepreneurs that we have supported – to provide the space and time for them to realise their ideas – and we are grateful for the funding partners that have had the confidence to invest in the search for better solutions. Each new Challenge is a process of discovery where we never know where we will end up, where the creative solutions always surprise and amaze.

We want to use these videos to shout about the impact design can have in tackling social issues, so please do share them with your networks!

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