Totally Dundee: communication tools/ on an even keel
“The second thing Design expertise does well is creating artefacts around which people can gather to interpret and discuss the characteristics of a social issue. […]The point is not so much what the model or prototype proposes (although articulating ideas is important) but rather how a group of people involved in a process around a social problem makes sense of and uses these ideas. […]What is important here is the opening up of a dialogue around interpretation that then begs the question about whose values matter in determining the nature of an issue.” (Kimbell and Blyth, 2011)
How can an artefact be used to enhance the interaction between families of children aged 0-5 and service providers and support new and more effective relationships in the Lochee Ward, Dundee? The world of service provision for the children and families in Lochee, Menzieshill and Charleston is complex and messy. Currently, young families have to navigate a myriad of services and sources of information, much of which is developed with providers, not users in mind. Often families are simply not aware of the services available to them. Other times, the choice is too overwhelming. It is not always clear who does what, why, when or for whom. Service users have to rely on effective “sign posting” from one provider to another.
Dundee City Council has hired Taylor Haig Foundation, a London based consultancy, to provide ‘Total Place’ support for the re-design of Dundee’s public services with a focus on two main areas: The Lochee Pathfinder which looks at services aimed at children aged 0-5 and their families living in the Lochee ward ie. Lochee, Menzieshill and Charleston; and More Choices More Chances, which looks at services for young people not in education, training or employment.
‘Total Place’, was an English Government programme that had public service providers and government agencies in particular places collaborating to develop better, more customer-centric services; reducing overlaps in expenditure; and ultimately reducing the cost of public sector service provision.
“…we’ve learned through our projects elsewhere that to create a sustainable transformation it’s necessary to work at all levels of a “service ecology” simultaneously. That means the services and relationships with customers at the frontline, the behaviours, cultures, systems and processes within and between organisations and the resource flows and governance arrangements.” Lynne Wardle, Taylor Haig
Working alongside Taylor Haig, my colleague Becca Lindsay and I will be working collaboratively to produce a series of ‘boundary objects’ aimed at children aged 0-5 and their families living in the Lochee ward. Focusing on interaction, the objects should enable a new form of conversation as well as have function in its own right and be easily implemented at a local level by service providers. The object should allow the user the choice to find their own answer and shift conversation to an even keel between user and provider.
Individually, my focus will be on mapping the services currently available for families with children aged 0-5 within the Lochee Ward to identify overlaps and gaps in provision and facilitate effective “sign-posting”. I will then develop objects accordingly.
“Prototyping is problem solving. It’s a culture and a language. You can prototype just about anything – a new product or service, or a special promotion. What counts is moving the ball forward, achieving some part of your goal. Not wasting time.” (Keller, 2001)
I have also been attending seminars on life transitions hosted by Professor Divya Jindal-Snape and so have developed a keen interest in this area. I am aware that Professor Jindal-Snape is developing games to aid educational transition.
Having done work in this area in a previous module, I find the concept of play within education and design to support pupils through stressful transition periods a fascinating subject and would potentially like to work at a more in-depth level within this area.
Angela Tulloch: About me
Find me on Twitter @PeerieBirdy
I am studying a Masters of Design (MDes) at DJCAD in Dundee and I previously graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a 2:1 in Interior Architecture.
Within the MDes we have been working in multi-national and interdisciplinary groups over the past months on fast paced projects, encouraging public involvement. I have learnt a lot about myself; how I fit within a group; and have discovered new areas where my skills can be applied and make a difference.
I am often the connector within a group setting, good at listening to others views and encouraging involvement and others to voice their opinions; I am an analytical thinker, follow my own initiative, with the ability to lead or follow as is appropriate and above all else, listen to my gutt instinct. I am energetic and enthusiastic about co-design and am adaptable to situations.
Designing for people, with people is my passion and it can be done anywhere. The future of design encourages interaction between users and designers alike and is an exciting world to be apart of.
Being from the Shetland Islands, I want to encourage collaborative design over distance, creating diverse networks to support and sustain remote communities. I hope to work within the area of Service Design in the future as it will allow me to continue to work across many areas and have a strong link with design for the public.
Kimbell, L. and Blyth, S. 2011. Design Thinking and the Big Society:
From solving personal troubles to designing social problems, [online] Available at: http://www.taylorhaig.co.uk/assets/taylorhaig_designthinkingandthebigsociety.pdf [Accessed 10 April 2012].
Keller, T. 2001. Prototyping is the Shorthand of Design, Design Management Journal [journal article] 12 (3) 35.