Let's eat service design cake

Snook hooked up with Richard Arnott ( also known as servicejunkie ) last time we were in London and we had a great conversation about interesting goings on in Bristol, Cornwall and other places far away from Glasgow. Amidst my notes from our chat was a reminder to have a peek at some of the companies in Cornwall. I have followed Kathryn Woolf's tweets for a while but had never explored the company she co-founded in Cornwall - Sea Communications.Their latest project looks great ;  New Work Cornwall aims to boost the skills of people in Cornwall & open doors to new job opportunities.

I am really curious about how we can visualise and simplify services and systems and I was inspired by this charming approach by the team at Sea Communications.

These models are the outcome of a co-design workshop:

"The best bit of the day for me was when all the children arrived after school and got busy drawing floor plans and making a community centre out of cake & sweets! This gave me an opportunity to talk to some of the mum's about the idea of a community centre reward card / loyalty scheme which they thought would work really well. The basic idea being that residents could exchange volunteer time for points that they could cash in for things like cinema tickets, food, electrical goods, travel vouchers etc."

You can see many more pics of the workshop here.

This finding inspired me to look back at the last time I worked this way during the creation of Making Service Sense. I made a Service Factory and really explored the notion of being 'a service architect' and all I remember is that it was genuinely fun.

It's like art attack meets blueprinting ... love it.

service design meets the arts

The team at MMM have designed a new phase / program / idea / service for their next venture and they invited me to help move this back-of-an-envelope document into a version of the programme where they have much more detail of the what/how/when/&how much. Mission Models Money is a passionate network of thinkers and doers whose vision is to transform the way the arts use their resources to support the creation and experience of great art.

The first of three workshops kicked off last week with  Clare, Rohan and Mark , a big white space, lots of walls, pomegranates and peas. The team have never thought about what they offer as a 'service' before and we had a really interesting conversation around this. For some, the word 'service' conjures up thoughts of transactional exchanges and for others it has much more positive connotations such as 'being of service' which leans towards the notion of the gift economy. I am fascinated by the way people interpret the word service and I learned alot from simply going out and asking people last summer.

The day began by me asking simple questions to ensure clarity, as we needed a clear and jargon-free explanation of their service offering. We spent time understanding this new phase as a service, mapping programme outcomes and relation to stakeholders and really imagining what MMM's new service might look like from a user perspective. The trio got colourful with cartoons and story telling and it really helped bring it to life! You can see pictures of the tools we used and the outcomes generated here.

The next workshop is happening this week and we are inviting two of the key stakeholders along to bring their expertise and insights to the table.

change playing in social care

For the last couple of months I have been working with Research In Practice for Adults , designing workshops that will fuel the design of  a resource for frontline staff. Self directed support is one of the main things going on in social care at the moment.  As a result there is a huge culture shift happening for all front line staff involved. RIPFA have designed a resource that practitioners can use themselves, not one that is used on them; so they can take control of what is happening to them and act.  I am running three 'Change Playing' workshops to find out how practitioners feel about change.

I will be asking them to identify something that has motivated them that they/ their organisation has done, and something that has happened with a service user that has inspired them. Fundamentally, we want this resource to improve practice and give front line staff opportunities to talk about how the feel. We are also creating a depository for people to drop their own stories in .

Over the next two weeks I am traveling to Totnes, London, Manchester and Birmingham to deliver "Change Playing". I will be working alongside Gerry Nosowska to draw upon the expertise, knowledge and insights  of front line staff to ensure this resource is the best it can be, and the most useful for them and their colleagues.

If you would like to know more about the project don't hesitate to get in touch. I will have some time in each city between trains and hotels, so if you would like to say hello just let me know.

Workshop Winner

Thinkpublic have announced the winner of the Real Work Experience initiative...Bristol! uwe

"Led by graduate designer Chris Clarke and Alex Ostrowski, the 27 strong Bristol group produced and submitted a printed book covering their ideas and experiences of the workshop – that extra mile really caught our eyes and showed a bold dedication and belief in the national scale this project can have!"

This project has been crucial in  gaining insights to the academic understanding of social design.Thinkpublic will now work with these graduates at Bristol to develop the idea into a strategic plan.

Congratulations to the Bristol team! I am very excited about the potential of the Real Work Experience...