The Big Blog Backlog – Part Three: Design and The City

STIR lecture series

It’s time for part three of the Big Blog Backlog and next up it’s FutureGov‘s Lauren Ivory, who very kindly agreed to don her Enabled by Design hat and report back on the most recent Design London talk, put on as part of the STIR lecture series. This particular talk; Designing the city: What role for design in London’s future? had caught my eye, but unfortunately it coincided with my monthly MS treatment at hospital, so thank you Lauren for offering to go in my place!

Design London
Design and The City

Enabled by Design (EbD) loves hearing about new ways
of making things better through nifty design, so at the beginning of October I headed to Design London‘s lecture on the role of design in London’s future. I know that Denise’s particular interest is in the role design can play in making products more accessible and desirable to a much wider audience, but as the We are Enabled by Design event showed, there’s much more to EbD than that – including how London, and other cities, could
be influenced by design.

Today’s London is facing some big challenges. How can design help the city become more flexible and avoid being a ‘one size fits all’ place to live? 

“London has the potential of being at the cutting edge when it comes to
using design to create compelling solutions, services and products.”

The Big SocietyLondon
is currently trying to answer lots of important questions on wide ranging issues, from transport, workplaces and the environment to information, health and waste. All of these big challenges could find their answers in innovative design, as well as in Londoner’s own individual relationships with the city – through citizen
engagement and getting everyone (the likes of you and me) involved in and contributing to the Big/Good/Whatever Society.
Boris BikesDan Phillips, Group Director from Buro Happold highlighted the
brand new Boris bikes, and explained how designing them into the city will help to tackle the
challenges of health and transport in a completely new way, as well as influencing the relationship Londoner’s have with their own city. Another key example are the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the new thinking that will be needed to make London an accessible and inclusive place for all to enjoy and be part of.

FutureGov certainly had cities on their mind, when they ran, the weekend long, City Camp London also in October last year. This event
brought together London’s leaders from all levels of government, business,
academia and community organisations, to imagine how technology, the web
and people might help to shape London in the years to come. Here, Dominic Campbell, founder of FutureGov and co-founder of Enabled by Design, was pushing for cities to become smarter, more open and accessible –
including the (we think!) great idea AccessCity.

“Not high tech thinking, but imaginative thinking – people should
believe they can help create the solutions.”

Design for Patient DignityDuring Mat Turner’s (Chief Designer from the Design Council) talk, he said that simple redesign can make all the difference. He highlighted the Design for Patient Dignity programme where new prototypes for the universal NHS gown and washrooms with
a user centred focus have been developed, with the aim of helping patients to feel less self-conscious and embarrassed and much more comfortable.

As Dan mentioned in his presentation, when it comes to product design, it seems the key to getting it right is to create things that are ‘long lasting and lovable’. The Enabled by Design community has an important part to play, not only in the design process but also in reviewing and sharing the products that work best for you.
Enabled by Design Annual 2010In the future, EbD are planning to hold the Enabled by Design Awards in recognition of brilliant and innovative products that can help to make everyday living that little bit easier. You can check out the proof of concept edition of the Enabled by Design Annual here!

So please do get in touch with the Enabled by Design team about the products that you absolutely love, if there’s need for improvement or if you have a new idea altogether. They’d love to hear from you!

It’s all about DESIGN! FOR ALL! : )

Kindly written by Lauren Ivory