Understanding Design Interventions in Democratic Innovation: a Toolkit Approach


The relationship between society and design is in a period of transition. We are observing a move from the ‘object’ to ‘service’, and from problem solving, to problem finding, to design strategy. In this paper we explore how a ‘toolkit approach’ allows us to both contribute to democratic innovation activity but also build a deeper understanding of the potential contribution design can have in this emerging area.
This work was conducted in the prototyping stages of the Homesense initiative, a project run by Tinker London and Électricité de France. Homesense aims to facilitate user led innovation in smart home development through provision of toolkits and expert support. Through engagement with the
Homesense project we identify areas and mechanisms for intervention in Democratic Innovation (DI) and discuss methodologies for future potential for a wider professional design engagement in DI.


Design Research Journal 2: 10 pp33-38

Publication Date

1st of February 2010