How could MPs better connect with their constituents? That's the question we set out to answer in this latest RED project.
We asked constituents to design their perfect MP; ran a design workshop with 15 MPs in parliament; debated the issues on the Today Programme; and we spent an intensive week working alongside a constituency office in Doncaster to develop a new set of services for MPs.
We published our results in the snappily-titled report, 'Ten practical things every MP can do to rebuild democracy in their constituency', which sets out proposals for new services for MPs, a hansard for constituents and a 'Constitupedia' - a resource of consituency best practice.
There's a short film of the project below and if you're interested in the detail a presentation of our Transformation Design process.
Robin Murray, director of RED during the energy project, has been busy. In partnership with lifestyle management service TenUK, the London Bourough of Lewisham and the Mayor of London he's developing a new kind of energy service - one that will help you green your home without the hassle.
Over the coming months the partnership will prototype the Green Homes service with 40 homes in Lewisham. The service includes: a home energy check-up, expert advice, finance, carbon payback grants and a second check-up to help you see what your saving.
If you're thinking of greening your home, and particularly if you live in Lewisham watch this space...the team are looking for people who are interested in participating in the prototype. www.greenhomeslondon.co.uk
I've had lots of requests from people who heard me speak at conferences in the US recently for a copy of my slides. The presentation sets out why we need a new generation of public services and a new(design-led) method of creating them. I talked about our two healthcare projects, designing for behaviour change and transformation design. Click here for a pdf of the presentation and a (very) rough transcript.
In September RED opened it's dorrs for the second year of RED Open House during London Design Festival. We had a great time chatting to all those who came and would like to thank them in particular for their ideas, feedback and discussion. For anyone who had thought they might like to come but got distracted, waylaid or otherwise engaged, you can listen to the presentation here. (MP3, 40mins, 19mb )
RED Associate, Charles Leadbeater, has realeasd a draft of his new book, We-think: the power of mass creativity, prior to publication and invites review and comment. The book looks at the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist and what this means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. Charlie's argument is that these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a society in which participation will be the key organising idea rather than consumption and work. People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines. Take at look!
Today I recieved this email from Ali and Mahdi who are upping the stakes in design related spam. They are not offering a $99 logo but a the design for a four door car body including antifog lights. Please contact Ali if you are interested...
Dear Sir' Greetings'
Hereby we ' Ali Ghorbani and Mahdi Hossini have designed a body Of an automobile including doors ' bumpers , rings, wheels, front and Rear antifog lights and the total appearace this design is a four doors Vehicle and it is designed by "3DsMax , AutoCad, Flash5" software' So if you would like to buy such a car design , please kindly get in Touch with us via the following e-mail .
With best regards.
Ali Ghorbani Mahdi Hossini
In the last few weeks I've spoken at three great conferences in the US on the future of design:
Emergence06 at Carnegie Mellon on Service Design,
IIT's About, With & For on user-centred design,
And the Sarasota Design Summit.
I talked about three things: the need to design a new generation of public services, what RED is learning about how to design for behaviour change around issues like climate change and chronic disease, and transformation design as a way to bring policymakers, economists, designers and innovators together to create new solutions.
The excitement around design thinking and where it may lead businesses has been growing in the US for some time now, and these conferences highlighted the power design has to inspire and transform organisations and their offerings.
Most interestingly for me, I found a huge appetite out there for applying design to social issues - and judging by the number of relevant presentations and discussions it's a fast-growing area.
Over the summer RED ran a short design project to reconnect politicians with voters. We did not concentrate on the high road to democratic reform: Lords Reform, Electoral reform, devolution, or constitutional reform. But, focused instead on the low road to democratic renewal. We looked at how voters experience their local constituency MP.
Click here for the publications and film relating to the project RED/democracy
Read on for a copy of a talk given by RED at Labour Party Conference 2006.
RED has been thinking hard about how best to reduce carbon emissions by influencing consumer behaviour. There seem to be two options available to the government.