Last Friday, Bryan Boyer & Justin W.Cook of Helsinki Design Lab were in Pearse Street library as guests of DCC Studio and the Department of Public Sector Reform to talk about their strategic design approach to public service challenges in Finland. Dublin was the last stop on their world tour to mark the windup and share their insights over the five years of Design Lab.
Their work is all about bringing people together to find solutions in the mix and systemise a new way of thinking in government. They run Design Exchange programmes to embed designers into public sector posts and work through projects to achieve their ‘shared wellbeing’ goal. Recent projects include low2No city block, which aims for market transition towards a low carbon future, the Open Kitchen sustainable food project and the collective urbanism Brickstarter prototype.
Bryan and Justin, both originally trained as architects, talked about how they use visual design and videos to communicate their stories and to build political capital. They stressed that designers really need to engage with government, to speak the language and ‘run towards bureaucracy’ to create a new culture of decision making in public service. Helsinki Design lab has published a number of publications including ‘Recipes for Systematic Change’, which are free to download from their website. Thanks to Bryan and Justin for an inspiring talk.