In Beyond the Castle we offered a radical rethink of the city and council’s approach to public engagement. This was an extremely successful co-design project that also started to change the Engagement Officer’s thoughts about the creative possibilities for engagement.
Our next phase of co-design in PROUD is to facilitate this new thinking of consultation officers by providing them with tools that help them be more innovative in their own engagement practices. Our aim is to co-design new ‘grab and go’ tools for engagement officers.
To achieve this we are thrilled to be working with Helen Ryan from Lancaster City Council. She is the client for this project and as an energetic, innovative, open engagement officer we could not hope for a better collaborator. The team developing our new tools consists of Helen as a lay co-designer in collaboration with 4 young designers, 3 employed by PROUD directly and one by New Ideas, a sister project of PROUD looking at the design of knowledge exchange tools.
After an open exploratory day developing a wide range of consultation tool ideas and a further day of collaborative working, it really feels as though the project is taking off now. This is a good job because we have set ourselves the rather ambitious target of having this project completed by Dutch Design Week in October.
This is very important target for us, partly as an excellent showcase for our work, but more significantly, this is a stepping-stone to the next iteration of our tool activities.
We want to work with colleagues in Capital D and Eindhoven City Council to form the nucleus of a collaboration to co-design consultation tools with international teams.
The UK pilot project is looking specifically at signage, information and capturing ideas and viewpoints as the 3 critical areas. We look forward to describing the development of these tools in more detail than normal in this blog, with guest submissions from designers and the council, in addition to our normal documentation.