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














Open Practices: lessons from co-design of Public Services for Behaviour Change

Simon O'Rafferty, Adam Deeyto & huw Lewis

Design Factors, DMT, University of Limerick, Ireland

Keywords: co-design; policy; public services; behaviour change


This paper explores what the distinctive value of design may be in a policy context. The paper broadly supports the contention by Smith and Otto (2014) that design offers a “distinct way of knowing that incorporates both analysing and doing in the process of constructing knowledge”. The paper will also outline potential limitations of the direct translating of design practice and methods into a policy context. To achieve this, the paper uses insights gained from an on-going design research project, Open Practices, which aims to co-design services and policy interventions to enable sustainable behaviour change. In this case, co-design, as a method and context for policy design, interweaves alternative ideas and perspectives (e.g. interdisciplinary knowledge, desirable visions of future behaviours), new policy practices (e.g. co-creation, policy labs, practical experiments, ethnographic study) and new social relations (e.g. new networks and actors). 

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

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Cite this paper: O'Rafferty, S., DeEyto, A. & Lewis, H. (2016). Open Practices: lessons from co-design for policy and public services. 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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