Design Intelligence, the magazine published by the Design Futures Council, has recently featured a thought-provoking interview with our CEO, Michael Kohn. It’s worth a read by anyone wanting to design and create smarter, user friendly, sustainable and innovative products, buildings and spaces that truly meet our needs in our digital, data rich world. Michael talks about the skill sets designers and architects need in this new context as clients look for more evidence-based decisions, and the commercial opportunities opened up by a more inclusive design process. You can read the full article "Entrepreneurship and the Architecture of Involvement" here or download a PDF.
Drawing on his previous experience as an architect where he observed failings in architectural design and planning processes, Michael talks about how design can change and deliver better outcomes when there is greater collaboration and broader, richer communication throughout the design process. Stakeholder participation and involvement of the right people at the right time creates more opportunities for enhancing knowledge, encouraging understanding, capturing feedback, making better decisions and supporting co-design.
He highlights how in the design process it’s sometimes difficult to ask the right questions but if you “involve more people, more groups, more parties” you can get to the nub of the issue and better understand how to solve it. For design professionals it’s not handing over responsibility; it’s recognising that the input of different people at each stage of a project can bring different perspectives, new insights and deliver a better result – reducing risks, cutting costs, creating more sustainable solutions and opening up new economic opportunities.
This ‘people focused’ way of thinking is directly relevant to Government Soft Landings coming into force in the UK next month. The article talks more about this new UK Government programme “that involves clients and end users in the detailed briefing, design review, handover and feedback of all capital projects” and how Stickyworld is working with infrastructure provider Costain and industry research association BSRIA to take the Government Soft Landings process online. Case studies of how Stickyworld is used by our customers are also featured to give some real examples of an inclusive approach in practice.
The article concludes with Michael’s heartfelt advice for other entrepreneurs “You need a vision… Most importantly you need to really believe in what you are doing and get others to believe it too.”
Stickyworld’s vision and mission is to provide great communications and engagement tools that make it really easy for project organisers to involve their stakeholders, the Neighbours in Neighbourhood planning, the Citizens in Smart cities, the Customers in Custom Build housing and the Clients, Owners and Occupiers in Online Soft Landings.
Do you, like us, think users have a bigger role to play in the design of the world around us? Please tell us in the comments below.
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