Visit from the Pivot Dublin bid team « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Visit from the Pivot Dublin bid team

Today we had a very inspiring and affirming visit from the PivotDublin team charged with the bid for Dublin to be World Design Capital 2014 who requested to view our work to date as presented by the team.

This was an opportunity for the team to practice presenting and articulating our work again and, in addition, to understand and query the bid team’s work.

The feedback from the Pivot Dublin team was a tremendous validation of our approach and output. It opened up in our minds the potential for post-project appropriation of such insights and process work and the opportunity for entrepreneurial morphing of what we do at Designing Dublin that can add value to a range of businesses and sectoral interests.


Below are a sense of comments made (paraphrased):

“The work is fantastic and captures very well the soft issues at work in the city”

“The insights you are developing here are like commercial gold-dust to many parties. You should uncover the commercial relationships of these market insights”

“Insight is wonderful; it is like a drug. The move from insights to action is more difficult. Sometimes, aswell as mapping the soft issues, you need to overlay these with the political and funding issues at work to navigate a way through to action”

“I would love to bring in the Chamber of Commerce and another city to show them your work”

“I would like to commend you on your website blog. It really helps one understand the work”

“You should develop more the editing down of your work so that it can be easily digested”

Some Insights….

“According to Failte Ireland, one of the top reasons tourists visit Dublin is because they feel safe here and the largest numbers visit in the months of Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov.” I bet that surprises you!

“The river is a massive divide North-Southside. The missing potential is networking the city across the river. By looking at where people go, where they know or where they perceive the city centre, you uncover where they don’t go”

“In terms of way-finding in the city, the universal design challenge in Dublin last year indicated that there are different routes taken from origin to destination point based on ability, not necessarily the quickest.”

Some advice….

There were mixed views on our planned mapping exercise:

“The presentation was 1000% until you got to the mapping. You have clearly articulated the soft issues and insights you discovered through your street conversations and formal conversation but it seems you now want to force these identified challenges now into a geographical space when infact they exist in a virtual space. They may not the represented appropriately in a physical space”

“It is good to use mapping for the city but you need to be sure to map not just by numbers but also the emotions. Don’t let the mapping dominate or reduce your insights to a deterministic ‘ta-da!’ level at the expense of your gut”

“I think mapping is important. Geography is important. Because people typically talk about issues in the city in the context of space and place.”

The team defended the mapping as simply being one tool in the toolbox and that the soft processes used in research phase would be re-applied in practice in the prototyping phase in the working area chosen.

Designing Dublin on the Pivot Dublin team’s work….

The Designing Dublin team expressed the hope that Ireland’s design potential would be represented as systemic, design-thinking, process-led design versus superficial stylistic fetishism and nice pictures.

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