Studio-led innovation

The continuing interest in terms such as ‘design thinking’ and ‘co-design’ has highlighted the possibilities of, and hopes for, applying practices associated with design to business and social challenges. Recognising that both the arts and design have roots in the studio, the Innovation Insights Hub is exploring and analysing how the embodied practices associated with the studio produce new possibilities that disrupt existing assumptions, frames and configurations.

Drawing on the diversity of expertises, projects and networks across UAL, the Innovation Insights Hub puts together workshops and exploratory projects that give partners access to new insights, approaches and concepts. The Hub uses different formats including speed-dating, deep dives, sprints, and studios depending on the challenge, goals and resources available. They share an emphasis on exploratory inquiries, material/digital making, and cross-disciplinarity. 

Reimagining Adult Social Care

What it is

An occasional series of sprint workshops to connect designers, researchers, entrepreneurs, systems changers and local authorities to generate concepts for future services caring for older people.

Why it matters

Adult social care is in crisis in the UK. Demographic changes, funding cuts, health conditions such as dementia, growing recognition of the role of loneliness and other factors are resulting in policy, service delivery and personal challenges affecting millions of people. There is increasing attention being paid to the care crisis in the form of research, funding and entrepreneurial activity. However there are new opportunities to address these challenges from the perspective of people’s experiences, combining technology (e.g. distributed data gathering and analysis shaping service delivery), research (e.g. understanding of behaviour change to support older people’s wellbeing) and social practices (e.g. informal and formal caring networks).

Who’s involved  

Local authorities, technology innovators working on ageing, designers, researchers

Find out more

Get in touch with the Hub.

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Data Studio 1: Food Poverty

What it is

The first UAL Data Studio in July 2016 brought together 35 people from different backgrounds to work together experimentally to combine different approaches to combining data, generating insights, identifying opportunities and proposing new service concepts. Our starting point was that combining design practice and data science within the context of discussions about ‘inventive’ social science  will produce new insights as well as new methods. 

During the workshop participants worked in small, mixed teams to explore data relating to food poverty and generate proposals for new research projects. Some proposals focused on how insights from research might be used to shape policy, organisational strategy and service design. Some of them proposed linking research about people’s experiences of food poverty and triggers shaping use of foodbanks with other data sets. Some of them proposed new connections between players in the food poverty, benefits system and social sector. As well as producing proposals for new research, the studio encouraged participants to question assumptions about the nature of research and how data is gathered, analysed, visualized, interpreted and used.

We are now developing the next cross-disciplinary creative Data Studios. Get in touch if you have data you need help to explore. 

Who was involved

Participants came from a range of backgrounds including communication design, textiles design, data science, design thinking, sociology, fine art, management, policy, local government and the voluntary sector. 

Find out more

Read the write up on the Open Policy Making blog.

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