Sarah Mettleton Newspaper Article

Same Space, New Place

In 2012 the Northern Ireland economy saw a loss of 4,950 businesses, with the NI Executive recognising the dangers of this shortfall to the countries infrastructure and prosperity. Current financial solutions have the goal of nurturing SME’s in their infancy and encouraging new initiatives to support growth and help deliver social change.

Sarah’s rigorous research and depth of personal experience has revealed that the future of Northern Ireland strongly relies on supporting regeneration and the growth of SME’s. Subsequently her project has emerged from a strong desire to explore how service design can help improve the civic pride and economic fortunes of local towns and communities within Northern Ireland. In order to achieve this Sarah strategically chose the historic, coastal town of Carrickfergus, as it is currently undergoing the process of pursuing regenerative funding. This became the perfect landscape to tackle this complex issue, whilst offering meaningful and sustainable solutions.

Through a co-design approach, working with local councillors business owners and community members, Sarah discovered the real need for positive communication outlets and collaborative facilitation.

The core purpose of her project is to investigate how Service Design approaches and methods can integrate into existing processes adhered to by town regeneration schemes. By intercepting these at each crucial stage, these concepts can be turned into grounded and sustainable outcomes.

Using Service Design methods including prototyping and facilitating workshops, Sarah has developed a range of tools and service interventions that allow collaborative relationships and develop a sense of community ownership.

Sarah, as a driven and motivated Service Designer, aspires to implement aspects of this new service within Carrickfergus council, with a longer term goal of recreating similar change in other Northern Irish towns.

Project Title: Same Space, New Place

Highlighted text:

The core purpose of her project is to investigate how Service Design approaches and methods can integrate into existing processes adhered to by town regeneration schemes.

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About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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