Category Archives: Design Inspiration

What Marina Abramovic’s art has in common with my design approach

I went to Marina Abramovic’s show at the Serpentine Gallery last year, and like most of the other visitors, I was profoundly moved. She is pushing what art can be – she is making art out of interactions.

In this Ted Talk she explains principles behind her work.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 13.55.14Image from Ted Talks Continue reading


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After the Polls: Predicting the Post-Election Landscape

Today I am at an RSA talk entitled ‘After the Polls‘. Normally I either live tweet or write notes on Evernote that I always intend to publish on this blog but never have the time to… so here’s a new approach: writing directly on the blog as the event is happening. It’s not quite live blogging because I will have a look over the text before I publish this – as I understand it, live blogging is a bit like a series of extended tweets, right?

Tweets are at #RSAelection.

‘Today’s event is about analysis, not advocacy’ – Anthony Painter, chair.

Our speakers today are:
Tim Bale – politics professor, wrote a book predicting what Ed Miliband would be like as PM.
Miranda Green – Newsweek contributing editor, knows about Lib Dems.
Janan Ganesh – FT political correspondant, knows about Conservatives.

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Managing Client Demands

Last night I went to a talk by Arthur Irving from Skylark. The talk was organised by London Web.

The talk was about managing client expectations. It was an insightful talk, with ideas that I hope to incorporate into my business practice.

Arthur described the process he used to work with clients and tactics he used to dealing with clients. He said that he had made every kind of mistake with clients, and so he was in a position to give advice. He said that initially he blamed the client for problems such as not getting paid on time, but then he realised that the only person to blame was himself.

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2015-01-15 20.16.31 Continue reading

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Tech For Good

Last week I went to my first Tech for Good event. I was impressed at the quality of the projects that were being showcased. I am a social designer, and it was fantastic to hear what social design is going on in the tech scene.

The speakers were Digital Mums, The Good Data and Peek. The event was held in The Bakery near Old Street.

Find out how the event unfolded with photos here. If you’re interested in coming to the next one, join the MeetUp group.

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Data for Democracy at the Open Data Institute

I attended James Smith‘s talk on Data for Democracy at the ODI on Friday. Find out how the talk unfolded via Storify.

He is challenging our political system by:

– creating a system to make political spending transparent
– creating a system to write political manifestos collaboratively with others
– standing as MP for Horsham with a new party he’s created, Something New

This is a man who is acting on his beliefs and demonstrating how change can be made. Go James!

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What is designerly about service design?


Today at Central Saint Martins I took part in a debate about whether we need specialisms in design. I argued for the movement: I am a service designer, and you need specialist service design skills to be an effective service designer. Continue reading

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How can we embed creativity in organisations?

Image from Shift website

I was at an RSA talk by Charles Leadbeater today. At the end of the talk I very briefly met a lady who said that her work was about getting leaders to be creative, and to embed creativity in organisations. She wasn’t sure how to make that happen yet.

Earlier today I was asked how to get non-creative people come up with good solutions to problems. The person I was having the conversation with and I had both noticed that too often, when people are asked for ideas, people will outline the problem again rather than thinking of solutions. Or if a solution is thought of, it’s an area of solutions rather than a specific imagining of how that solution might work in practice. It’s something that I have experienced time and time again with groups of people who are not used to thinking creatively.

The conclusion I am reaching, at least for today, is that it’s not enough to ask ‘non-creative’ people to be creative and expect brilliant results. Creative thinking workshops and introducing design thinking processes into workplaces alone are not going to make the change.


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Filed under Design Inspiration, FutureGov, Ideas, My current work