On Governing by Design

via SEED magazine: http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_governing_by_design/

An interesting article about applying design into policy making. 

This comes to mind as the Unlimited:Design Triennial and upcoming Ideas Festival are exploring this in the QLD  Government context.  I also think  that urban planning  and built environment professionals are already uniquely positioned to nativigate the spaces between design +policy/politics.

Having worked in local and State governments, I think it is a hugely complicated area to foster rethinking – I don’t have any answers to it  – but I had once written a job application to IDEO, saying I think government is definitely a huge client gap design/strategy firms could tackle.

Attentive as it always is to human needs and limitations, as well as to well-being and progress, design can be instrumental in dealing with identity and pluralism in countries that have seen large waves of immigration by helping to reconfigure hybrid communities using new, open-ended symbols of belonging; it can help governments deal with pressing social issues ranging from an aging population to obesity to emergency displacements of large groups of people because of catastrophes, man-made or natural; it can support policymakers in their attempt to prototype new models for health-care systems and other large infrastructures; it can serve as an interface between science and policymaking by helping integrate innovation into people’s lives and steer behaviors in the right direction with interventions that are delicate, sensitive, and inspirational enough to make a big difference.

If all this seems too ambitious, that is because we have only begun to tap into design’s real potential. Design is too often seen as a superfluous and elitist preoccupation or, in the best cases, as a service. However, design is much more than logos, posters, buildings, and objects. New fields of practice such as social design, information design, and design thinking offer the right tools for all sorts of social agendas.


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