On 16 January 2014, the IDeALL Innovation Exchange Day took place at Disseny Hub in the 22@Barcelona district. Attended by a range of international stakeholders including designers, entrepreneurs, researchers and government representatives, the event provided the opportunity to show how applying design strategies in Living Labs can provide a range of context-specific user-centred solutions.
Following a welcome by Inés Garriga, Director of Creativity and Innovation at the Institute of Culture, Barcelona City Council, the IDeALL project’s User-Centred Business toolkit was presented. Drawing on work undertaken during the project, this aims to provide an easy-to-use guide to designing and innovating with users.
Next, results from IDeALL experiments were shared, including how the University of Lapland’s Service Innovation Corner (SINCO) was used to plan an experiential shopping centre, how Catalonia’s Citilab used its 3H (Head, Heart, Hand method) to help young people create their own jobs and how the Slovak Design Centre inspired students to co-create a street which would meet the needs of all users, in collaboration with local residents.
Participants also heard about findings from other European Commission-funded design projects, such as the Sharing Experience Europe (SEE) Platform and When Regions Support Entrepreneurs and Designers to Innovate (REDI). Ventures from France Living Labs such as crowdsourced sustainability projects were also explored, as well as BCN Lab, Barcelona City Council’s ambitious project to connect and empower stakeholders in the city’s creative economy with the tools and services they need to thrive.
A co-creative workshop on how user-centred approaches might be taken forward in line with European Commission priorities threw up interesting questions: for example, is Europe in a more or less favourable position than other regions regarding user-centred design innovation? What are the roles of users and “experts” in user-centred innovation? How would quality control be managed in a user-centred innovation community? How can governments support user-centred innovation without seeking to control it?
To round off the day, the announcement of the Good Practices selected in the Design for All Foundation Awards 2014 provided inspiration for anyone interested in user-centred co-creation. To find out which of the Good Practices will be awarded the Design for All Foundation Awards trophies, come to Urbaccess, the European accessibility and universal design show, where the award ceremony will take place at 18:30 on 12 February.
On behalf of the IDeALL project team, we would like to thank everyone who attended, as well as special thanks to Disseny Hub for hosting us.