Nuala « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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Development of the ‘Process’ for City Centre Stakeholders and Users

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Designing Dublin use the word ‘process’ to describe an activity which is carried out in order to identify or extract particular insights which people have about a particular topic. A ‘process’ can also be used to create some new ideas or knowledge. A ‘process’ is used instead of a traditional interview as a way of gaining deeper or more unusual insights. Each ‘process’ is unique to particular interviewees and situations. However, they tend to share a commonality of being more creative, innovative, more dramatic or more surprising than traditional interview techniques.

The aim of carrying out our process on this occasion is to identify the effect that red tape (regulation) has on the functioning of enterprise of the city centre.

We would like some of the outcomes to include:

1. Discovery of new insights into enterprise/regulation in the city centre
2. Uncovering of links between stakeholders not previously apparent which could be useful in making the city centre a better place.
3. Identify what capacities for positive change within the city centre have been highlighted by the process?

Originally 6 stakeholder were identified for this process. We reduced this to three, as we felt that this would be sufficient considering the time constraints involved. The stakeholders include a representative from big business, a representative from the markets/street traders and a free runner.

Particular considerations for the ‘process’ are:

We felt that the invitees would have a lot of knowledge about the effect of regulation on enterprise in the city, so we wanted them to feel that they were the experts in the situation and to give them opportunity to give their already well formed opinions.
We wanted the process be fun for the participants and that they would feel free to give us their nuggets of wisdom.

The participants will arrive to our office where we will greet them and lead them to the kitchen where they will wait (with a cup of tea) for the other participants to arrive. After a short introduction to the theme that we will be exploring, we will then take them to a café in Moore Street Mall, via the boardwalk and the street sellers on Henry Street. The idea is to take the route where we will pass by the most ‘grey activity’, I.e., activity that pushes the boundaries of regulation in relation to enterprise. I will pick up the surprise prizes for the ensuing game en-route.

When we arrive at the café I will lay out the table mats which will have new headlines addressing enterprise and ‘red-tape’ issues in the city. Order tea. We decided that we would play a game where the three stakeholder and Paul and myself would all be equal competitors. We would start the game with each of us identifying two questions that we would like to ask people about the effect of regulation on the functioning of enterprise in the city. The questions would be put into a bowl and we will all have the choice to pick a question and ask the person next to us. We will vote after one round of questions which of the answers were most insightful to the participants. We will then move seats and ask another round of questions, followed by voting and a group discussion. The winner of the game will be identified and presented with a prize.

1 Meter Squared

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Below is a design experiment which was carried out on foot of being voted the most popular of my 100 ideas by the team.

100 Ideas

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Below is my collection of 100 ideas. The ideas were generated very quickly (20 in 1.5 hours) and from different locations. The general overridding theme was to to optimise, enliven and cheet up up the city centre. The ideas fall into the same categories as the ’100 Examples’.

I found that it was much easier to come up with ideas when sitting in public spaces or when walking around the city, than when sitting in the office. It was a more challanging exercise than I had expected and it took me much longer than anticipated.

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

As a way of beginning the ‘Love the City’ project, we collected examples of the most inspiring, the most entertaining and/or the most interesting projects/places/people and organisations, under the titles of story telling, interactions, entrepreneurship, spirit and society. The invited speakers gave some direction as to the area in which the examples were collected. While some examples were stumbled upon while scanning the internet, others I had come across before, others still seemed to emerge from conversation with the team.

So there is a name for what I sometimes do – GLAMOURBOMBING!

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Interesting Book

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

Interesting blog on design activism for social change

Thursday, September 16th, 2010