The ID2015 programme includes events across the island of Ireland, as well as activities and showcases at design weeks, fashion weeks and architecture biennales in international design capitals.
2015 also sees the culmination of highly innovative European project that has had one of its actions centered here in Tallaght, through the work of Partas and the local Youthreach.
Every week we'll have a short piece by our CEO John Kearns on Service Design and our involvement in the SPIDER project (Supporting Public Service Innovation using Design in European Regions) which runs until September 2015 and is a transnational project funded by the EU under the Interreg IVB programme which aims to deliver innovative solutions to Europe’s toughest social challenges.
As we are all well aware, public services face complex challenges such as high unemployment, an ageing population and higher expectations from citizens. At the same time budgets are being cut across Europe as public services feel the full force of the recession. The SPIDER project uses ‘service design’ to demonstrate how design can deliver tangible solutions to address many of these issues.
We each use a large number of services every day. Service design is a method for improving or creating a service. Taking a service design approach means looking at a service through the eyes of the people using it. This involves spending time with those people and ensuring you experience a service for yourself as much as possible. As you are then starting from the needs and requirements of service users, and looking for solutions together with these users and other stakeholders, it means a service is much more likely to do only what it is supposed to.
Service designers describe the ‘journey’ a service user (customer or patient) will go on through a service. The entire service journey needs to be understood before the individual elements that make up a service can be designed or improved. As you can imagine, each step in this journey might look completely different, like how an ambulance, paramedic’s equipment, car park, hospital reception, hospital bed and hospital interior all form part of one service journey through A&E and to better health. As a result, in service design, a wide range of design and business disciplines need to come together, such as ethnography, consumer research, interaction and web design, product design, graphic design, interior design, service marketing and corporate strategy.
Designers are creative problem solvers that think visually and make things. This is important because they use prototypes and create things quickly and effectively in order to test them on people to see how and if they work. This makes designers and the work they do inherently ‘people-centered’ as things are created to fit the people that use them.
The SPIDER Project has been using service design to create opportunities and improve services for young people looking for work, training or to go into further education. Here in Tallaght, that work has been centered on the Youthreach service and next week we will take a closer look at what that work has entailed.