"Co-designing puts tools for creativity and communication in the hands of the people who will benefit from the design process"
1. Which design or project based on design innovation best defines the mission of MakeTools and your job as a professional?
I work at the front end of the changes taking place in design today and practice design-driven co-creation. MakeTools is a vehicle for exploring new forms of generative tools and methods for collective creativity. We focus on the type of co-creation that occurs between companies and the people that they serve. For example, a recent project was to discover and understand the unmet needs and dreams of people living with Type 2 Diabetes. We co-created the design research process with our client and his team and then invited people who have Type 2 Diabetes to take part in the discovery of design opportunities with us.ç
2. What role plays the final user in the process of formulation and development of a project?
Our client and other members of the client organization are involved from the very start as co-creators in the formulation and development of a project. We work as one team. The people who will be served by the client organization, e.g. the end-users, are invited to participate directly in the design development process as co-creators as well.
3. What are the main tools to be provided to people to involve them in the creative process?
First, there are some preconditions for the tools to work when involving people such as clients and/or end-users in the co-creative process. People must have time and space to reflect on the situation that is being explored and they must feel that their input is respected and valued. With these conditions in play, the tools then include:
~ tools for reflection,
~ tools for remembering,
~ tools for ideation, and
~ tools for expressing and communicating the new ideas.
4. How important is design in the process of your projects from the first briefing to the production of the tool or product?
The co-designing process is a design process that has been opened up to non-designers. By co-design we refer to collective creativity as it is applied across the whole span of a design process from beginning to end. Co-designing puts tools for creativity and communication in the hands of the people who will benefit from the design process. We focus on co-creation between companies and the people that they serve.
5. Which are the international leading regions regarding to co-creation and / or design innovation?
The Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and the UK are leading with regard to co-creation for design innovation. The US talks a lot about co-creation but tends to use it at the tail-end of the design development process where it mainly serves business needs. Other parts of the world are expressing a lot of interest lately in co-creation as a way toward design innovation.
6. How do you argument in a sentence the need to bet on design innovation in front of an audience of 300 people?
Design innovation can and should come from the people that we, as designers, serve. If they co-design it, they will own it.