This powerful new book provides a clear framework for understanding and learning an emerging management practice, leading public design.
Drawing on more than a decade of work on public sector innovation, Christian Bason uses his extensive practical experience and research conducted among public managers in the UK, the US, Australia, Finland and Denmark to explore how public organisations can be redesigned from the outside in, shaping policies and services that are truly experienced as useful and meaningful to citizens, and which leverage all of society’s resources to co-produce better outcomes.
Through detailed case studies, the book presents six management practices which leaders in government can use to involve citizens, staff and other stakeholders in innovation processes. It shows how managers can challenge their own assumptions, leverage empathy with citizens, handle divergence, navigate unknown territory, experiment and rehearse future solutions through prototyping, and create more public value.
Ultimately, Leading public design provides a pathway to a new and different way of governing public institutions: human-centred governance. As a more relational, networked, interactive and reflective approach to running organisations, this emerging governance model promises a more human yet effective public sector.
Over the past decade, there has been growing interest in the theory and practice of design in the public sector. Academic literature has focused especially on policy design, with recent work exploring how design thinking ( Lewis et al, 2020 ), collaborative design ( Bryson et al, 2020 ) and public sector innovation labs ( McGann et al, 2018 ) support innovation. The implementation design approaches to transform public services has also been in receipt of attention in the fields of healthcare ( Donetto et al, 2015 ) education ( Dietrich et al, 2017 ) and urban
that a sole focus on concepts like extinction, death and anthropocentrism is paralysing for those that attempt to create conceptual and speculative spaces that inspire different possibilities.
In a discussion on the meaning of concepts, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari ( 1994 ) argue that the activity of doing philosophy entails the creation of concepts, and turn philosophical thinking into something that is much akin to the creation of art. This understanding may fit well with a more speculative realm in which art, design and other forms of making are
Governments see themselves as increasingly confronted by complex or wicked problems (such as climate change and migration). Characteristic of such issues is that many different stakeholders are involved, with different ambitions, interests and perceptions. A solution for one actor may imply an increase in problems for others ( Head, 2008 ). At the same time citizens’ expectations of public services have increased ( Armstrong et al, 2014 ; Kimbell, 2016 ; Bailey and Lloyd, 2017 ; Bason, 2017 ). In this context, design approaches are seen as a
Governments see themselves as increasingly confronted with complex or wicked problems (such as climate change and migration). Characteristic for such issues is that many different stakeholders are involved, with different ambitions, interests and perceptions. A solution for one actor may imply an increase in problems for others ( Head, 2008 ). At the same time, citizens’ expectations of public services have increased ( Armstrong et al, 2014 ; Kimbell, 2016 ; Bailey and Lloyd, 2017 ; Bason, 2017 ). In this context, design approaches are seen as
Just as neurotypical people have strong opinions about where they would like to live
and in what type of home, so, too, do people with autism. The desire for an amenity-
rich neighborhood and a house that reflects individual ideas of what makes a home
and is filled with features that support individual needs and preferences is similar for
most people, with and without autism. As anyone who has moved recently can attest
to, identifying and locating such a place often is challenging. For people with autism,
this may be even more so
Reinventing the nursing home:
metaphors that design care
Nursing homes are usually considered places of last resort – places
imbued with our fears of ageing, dependence, frailty and dying
(Vladeck, 2003). No doubt this reputation is also related to the
long-term care sector’s historical connections to the poor house and
insane asylum (Struthers, 1998; Ward-Griffin and Marshall, 2003).
Reinforcing nightmare visions of the nursing home are news media
reports of scandal, violence and mistreatment (Lloyd et al, 2014). The
In reading this chapter on research design you are invited to consider the overall
approach that you select to integrate the different components of your study.
This needs to be done in a coherent and logical way that addresses your research
question, situates the topic you are investigating and considers carefully the
participants, context and contribution to the field. The design of your study
can become a blueprint for others to follow, a map setting out how they may
contribute to the field by building on and
This chapter contains a reflective account that acknowledges the author’s agency as researcher and creative practitioner. In some respects it is the meta narrative that relates to and connects the other research stories within this book. It also offers a less tempered designer perspective and therefore speaks more directly to the experience of architectural practitioners and those engaged in practice-led research. In particular this chapter reflects on the theme of design research for change, and seeks to answer three questions: (i) who decided
Policy design as co-design
Michaela Howell and Margaret Wilkinson
Drawing on an innovative co-design process, facilitated by the contributors,
this vignette explores how practitioners have tried to make concrete the theory
of co-design. The example highlights the deep challenges this presented to
traditional ways of working and thinking. It concludes that a ‘leap of faith’ is
sometimes needed for practitioners to see the benefits of unusual co-design
processes. The illustrative example is of an attempt to redesign public services
in one neighbourhood