On Friday, we were delighted to visit The Studio in Dublin City Council for a presentation of their work to date. The studio was founded in September 2009 by three of the DCC members of the Designing Dublin 1.0 team, Deirdre Ni Ragallaigh, Sarah Scannell and Jeremy Wales, they were also joined by Pauline Riordan, a DCC planner. Their challenge is to bring the working methods of Designing Dublin into an organisational setting, to identify, communicate, encourage and facilitate innovation in DCC. Using the mantra of “an idea is not innovative, until it is acted on”, they have set about turning ideas into action. For Innovation Dublin, they exhibited in the walkway of the civic offices a selection of existing projects from DCC that are working in new ways – improving the City for its users and producing a definite product. It’s a simple and powerful idea, as communication is a challenge within DCC and many staff members may not have been aware of the exciting work being undertaken in different departments.
Currently, The Studio has set its sights on a ‘turning ideas into action’ campaign. Gathering over 300 ideas from DCC staff, they are now sifting through these ideas to find the ones with potential, which they will then lend support and backing to. The Studio is still in very early stages, with most innovation units requiring a number of years to establish themselves, yet they are already beginning to provoke change, challenging staff to consider ‘soft’ options, encouraging new initiatives and sharing knowledge across the 6,000 person large organisation.