Reframing the Paradox: Evidence-based Design and Design for the Public Sector









Designed Engagement

Gemma Teal, tara french

The Glasgow School of Art

Keywords: participatory; engagement; dialogue; asset-based


Designed Engagement uses design methods and skills to transform the way we talk to people in the community. We go to where people are: designing positive and thought provoking public engagement to stimulate creative dialogue and explore new ways of addressing societal challenges. Involving the public in dialogue around changes to policy and the design of services is a key target for policy makers, however traditional approaches offer little scope for creativity and meaningful engagement. Design brings a wealth of expertise to create engaging experiences, facilitate dialogue, and translate insights into tangible outputs for decision makers. We discuss public engagement literature and previous examples of design within this context. We introduce ‘Designed Engagement’ to denote design-led approaches to public engagement, illustrated through two examples of pop-up Designed Engagement. We discuss advantages, limitations and implications for design, concluding with the need for further research to evaluate and demonstrate the contribution and value of design in public engagement.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Teal, G., French, T. (2016). Designed Engagement. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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