Jan 23

An IDeALL day for exchanging user-centred design and innovation examples

Attendees at IDeALL Innovation Exchange Day next to giant letters spelling out "DESIGN" at Disseny HubOn 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.

Inés Garriga welcoming attendees at the Innovation Exchange Day       Mikaël Mangyoku presenting the User-Centred Business website

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.

Hanna-Riina Vuontisjärvi presenting SINCO service design methodology and experiments

Laia Sanchez presenting Citilab's user-centred innovation methods






Nicolas Roesch presenting IDeALL experiments

Nina de Gelder presents the Slovak Design Centre's Street for All project





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.

Anna Whicher presenting the SEE Project Sandrine Gibet presenting the REDI project Francisco Iglesias speaking about BCN Lab

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.

Francesc Aragall, Isabelle Vérilhac and Roberto Santoro

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.

For more photos from this and other IDeALL events, visit the official project Flickr account. All photos by Paolo Aversano, Researcher, European Network of Living Labs.


Dec 18

IDeALL Innovation Exchange Day

Over the past two years, the Integrating Design for All in Living Labs (IDeALL) project team has been exploring the best in user-centred design innovation. The project has built links between the design and Living Labs communities, selected methodologies and tested them in real-life situations to find out what really works.

Join us in the 22@Barcelona district, the vibrant innovation cluster of one of Europe’s great design cities, for this interactive exchange event. It will provide the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge user-centred design innovation methods, experiments and case studies; discover how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and government bodies have benefitted from user-centred design innovation; and find out how Barcelona City Council is transforming the city into an experimental space for creative enterprise.

Programme highlights include:

  • How the User-Centred Business toolkit can help you design and innovate with users.
  • User-centred innovation experiments from Finland, France and Spain.
  • Best-practice case studies from European design-driven innovation projects.
  • Presentation of the best examples of user-centred innovation.
  • Collaborative workshop on taking the user-centred approach forward in line with Horizon 2020 objectives.

The conference will be held in English. Should you wish to participate, please confirm your attendance by emailing usercentredbusiness@designforall.org before 10 January 2014.


Dec 11

Wanted: Examples of user-centred innovation methodologies in action

Have you designed or delivered a project which shows how user-centred innovation can help businesses grow or make governments more effective? Do you want to share it with the world so that others can learn from your example?

If so, we want to hear from you. The IDeALL team is selecting case studies to illustrate its forthcoming user-centred innovation toolkit, and yours could be on there. We will be selecting the best examples to be recognised at the IDeALL Innovation Exchange Day on 16 January 2014 in Barcelona, and you can also have the chance to submit it as an entry to the Design for All Foundation Awards 2014. Email usercentredbusiness@designforall.org for your application form.

In need of inspiration? Have a look at these examples from the IDeALL community – we’ll be featuring more over the coming weeks.

High-school robot

This project used the Cité du design’s Laboratoire des Usages et des Pratiques
Innovantes (LUPI) (Innovative Uses and Practices Laboratory) methodology to find solutions for students who are forced to miss schooling through long-term sick leave. As well as providing an educational resource for the student, the solution had to take privacy and confidentiality issues into account. End users were interviewed by LUPI stakeholders from government and industry and the results of the interviews analysed to  six use scenarios, including:

• Cours connecté (Connected lesson): communication devices such as cameras, screens and speakers are positioned in the classroom, while the student follows using a tablet equipped with a camera.
• Helio: an avatar robot offering a tool for reintegration into school life for students with mental-health conditions.

Classroom with pupils and a tablet showing a student participating by video link Classroom full of students with a robot featuring a photo of a pupil as its head






A list of criteria was also drawn up to prepare the specifications of the chosen solution. In accordance with the LUPI method, use scenarios were then presented to stakeholders in a storytelling format. They were also passed onto research and development sponsors so that technical specifications could be established. If two companies are involved in sponsorship of a LUPI programme, the Rhône-Alpes regional government will provide up to 50% of the finance required, helping to translate innovation in the region from theory into practice.

Guarantee – A guardian angel for the extended home environment

Between 2009 and 2012, the Guarantee project (www.guarantee-itea2.eu), part of the ITEA2 framework (http://www.itea2.org), sought to find a solution to the issue of safety for infants, older people and people with learning disabilities living independently.

The role of IDeALL partner Laurea Service Innovation and Design (LaureaSID) in the project revolved around user-centred research and service design, to help ensure that the results would meet real needs. Following a detailed literature study, LaureaSID conducted stakeholder analysis with end users and staff from Rinnekoti-Säätiö, a Finnish foundation for people with learning disabilities. Interviews were conducted and the results analysed; LaureaSID then facilitated workshops where companies and end users co-created different use scenarios, based on a range of user personas.

Guardian Angel scenario: figure with older man and young boy above square in which is a house. On each side of the square is a phrase: "Situational awarness and decision making" "Supporting action" "Home safety services" "Sensing"


Next, blueprinting was used to identify and visualise the different steps within the service, involving end users, technology providers and service providers. As part of the evaluation, LaureaSID tested one of the products, a robotic vacuum cleaner providing assistance in the event of a fall, with end users, using their feedback to inform the project.

Robotic vaccuum cleaner

Ethical issues such as privacy and informed consent arising from the use of home-safety products were crucial; hence, to ensure that the end solutions would be socially and ethically responsible, a set of guidelines was drawn up and integrated from the outset of the design phase. This ethical framework provides criteria for home-safety systems, leading to more human-centred solutions which take privacy into account, and in turn making the service more acceptable to the public.

Besides raising the awareness of technology developers regarding stakeholder needs, the Guarantee project aims to result in a safer home environment and consequently cut costs associated with hospitalisation. The services developed empower people with learning disabilities to live more independently, enabling a more proactive approach to risk situations through the use of “active safety” systems.


Oct 28

2 December, Rome – ESoCE-Net Industry Forum: People-Driven Social Innovation

The term “social innovation” is frequently used, but what does it actually mean? According to IDeALL partner the European Society of Concurrent Enterprising Network (ESoCE-Net), social innovations are innovations which are not just good for society, but those which also involve citizens in finding solutions to key societal issues – such as ensuring wellbeing for all in an ageing society while preserving the planet. To facilitate this, recent developments like Living Labs and smart cities offer spaces for exploration, experimentation and implementation, allowing users to participate in the design and development of environments, products and services.

ESoCE-Net is at the forefront of these developments, and this year its industry forum will focus on “People-Driven Social Innovation”. Bringing together representatives from business, government and civil society, it will provide an opportunity to explore major research and innovation initiatives in the frame of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. It also aims to provide businesses and government agencies with the tools and techniques to benefit from “People-Driven Social Innovation”, especially in the areas of energy, health and wellbeing.

A panel session discussing key issues in the morning will be followed by parallel working groups in the afternoon focusing on how to promote people-driven social innovation approaches in the design and delivery of services for smart cities in the future internet.

Book your place and obtain further information by visiting the ESoCE-Net website.

Oct 21

25 November, Saint-Étienne: Healthcare and design for all

Programme cover for Health and design for all symposium

Interested in how user-centred design can provide solutions to modern healthcare requirements? IDeALL partner la Cité du design and co-organisers the City of Montreal and Association des Designers Industriels du Québec (ADIQ) (Quebec Industrial Designers Association) invite you to join them in Saint-Étienne on 25 November 2013 for a symposium featuring a host of talks on the topic.

With a general trend towards longer life expectancy, needs among users of healthcare services are changing, with comfort and simplicity of use being key considerations. The idea of design for all is to create products and services which are universal and which respond to every user’s needs, although, as the “Sixième Sens” (“Sixth Sense”) exhibition during Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial showed, there are technical and financial issues which may make this problematic. By bringing their action and analysis to bear on interaction between technology and society, designers can rethink the idea of care to create appropriate solutions. Innovations designed by a small number of users can be the catalyst for evolutions which benefit a much greater number.

This symposium, part of the 2013 Entretiens Jacques Cartier programme, aims to explore responses to the following themes:

  • Providing life-long support: products which are adapted to and evolve with our habits from childhood to old age.
  • Designing for and with all: viewing accessibility requirements in public space as an opportunity, rather than a constraint, for designers.
  • Ensuring user comfort: meeting all basic needs.

Internationally recognised speakers will explore the latest in user-centred design techniques, among them:

  • Francesc Aragall of IDeALL partner the Design for All Foundation.
  • Roberto Santoro of IDeALL partner the European Society of Concurrent Engineering Network (ESoCE-Net).
  • Kazuo Kawasaki of the Universities of Osaka and Nagoya.
  • Sylvie Champeau, Design Commissioner at the City of Montréal.
  • François Lenfant, Design Director, General Electrics Healthcare France.
  • Jonathan Aitken, Director, Health Design Lab, Emily Carr University, Vancouver.

For more information, visit the Cité du design website.

Sep 05

IDeALL goes to Mexico!

Not content with being presented during the Brazilian Design Biennial last year, IDeALL’s globetrotting continues with a visit to Mexico. Minna Fred of project partner Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu (Laurea University of Applied Sciences) is participating in a conference on service design and innovation at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (Autonomous Metropolitan University) in Azcapotzalco, Mexico City. As well as setting out the Laurea approach to teaching service design and innovation, she will be discussing how the IDeALL project brings design into people-powered Living Labs.

The event also includes seminars exploring what service design and innovation is, how it is taught and projects in the field based on Living Lab methodology.



Jul 05

School’s up for summer – join IDeALL at the annual European Network of Living Labs event

Entrance to Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints campus

An unmissable event for anyone interested in user-centred innovation, this year the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) summer school will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University from 27-30 August.

The four days are themed as follows:

27 August – Research
Find out about the latest Living Lab research and get up close and personal with potential dream project partners in the speed-dating session.

28-29 August – Innovation
A whole host of workshops to inspire you on how Living Labs can empower everything from smart cities to social innovation, design and technology. IDeALL will be coordinating a workshop on Living Lab methodologies for design communities, which will bring designers, researchers, architects and other professionals in the sector to explore user-centred innovation and design methods. Don’t miss IDeALL partner Roberto Santoro’s People’s Olympics workshop, which will provide insights into how collective intelligence, user-driven innovation and the future internet can enable Cities to become smarter.

Getting out and about on site visits within Manchester, a pioneer in industrial and technological innovation famed for its architecture, culture, music, science and engineering, will allow participants to see how local innovation can benefit from cross-border collaboration.

30 August – Conference
A plenary session on the World Wide Community of Open Living Labs will be followed by announcement of the results of the ENoLL 7th Wave of member recruitment.

See you in Manchester!

Apr 11

Design for All Foundation Living Labs Award 2013 winner

Photo of the Design for All Foundation Awards trophy - three hands made of different metals in a wooden block

As reported in this blog,  in 2012 IDeALL partner the Design for All Foundation introduced a new category into its annual awards, seeking the best ideas for user-centred design in Living Labs. The awards recognise initiatives from across the world which aim to enable everyone to participate in society on an equal basis, drawing international attention to examples of best practice in Design for All. The new category, which seeks the best ideas for user-centred design in Living Labs, was created in part to foster links between the design and Living Lab communities, one of the core aims of the IDeALL project.

This year, IDeALL partner, design centre and Living Lab la Cité du design hosted the awards as part of a packed programme of events for the Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial 2013. The winning project was Life 2.0: co-financed by the European Commission and delivered by a multidisciplinary, international consortium, this project aims to increase opportunities for older people to socialise and remain active by linking social networking and local information within an easy-to-use online platform.

Photo of someone accessing the Life 2.0 platform on a mobile device

The Life 2.0 project’s user-friendly online platform

Car pool scenario drawing illustrating the different steps involved

The project generated scenarios to better understand user needs








Representing la Cité du design, Design for All Foundation Awards jury member Isabelle Vérilhac presented Saara Newton of Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu (Karelia University of Applied Sciences) with the award, before all the award winners were welcomed at a drinks reception in the Biennial’s VIP area.

Saara Newton holding the trophy and certificate with Francesc Aragall

Saara Newton accepted the trophy for Life 2.0

Birgit Baumgart of the Staatliches Museum Schwerin showing Saara Newton the multisensory guidebook which was  finalist in the not-for-profit category

Finalists shared their best-practice Design for All projects

Photo of Petri Pulli and Isabelle Vérilhac

Last year’s winner Petri Pulli, here with Isabelle Vérilhac, also attended








If you’ve got a great idea for a design project which you’d like to experiment with users in a real-life Living Lab setting, this award can make it happen. See you next year!

Photo of the VIP area at the Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial, with "Biennale Internationale de Design Saint-Étienne"

Feb 26

International Design Biennial Saint-Étienne, 14-31 March 2013

There are only a couple of weeks to go until the opening of the International Design Biennial Saint-Étienne 2013, an unmissable event for anyone interested in innovation, design and / or Living Labs. The event kicks off with the Design and Innovation Forum on 14 and 15 March, which will be introduced by Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation for Economic Trends. The forum offers a great programme of conferences, round-tables and workshops for professionals to share their ideas on the evolution of the role of the user in design, and experiment with co-creation techniques. Visits round Biennial exhibitions will be also organised to highlight the innovative products and services on show.

Meanwhile, to see the pick of 2012′s user-centred design projects, book your seat at the International Design for All Foundation Awards ceremony on 20 March. This annual event showcases best practice in Design for All, with a special category to find the best examples of project ideas for user-centred design in Living Labs. Coinciding with the Biennial this year, it offers a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and organisations and get inspired by the work being done in the field.

For more information, visit the International Design Biennial Saint-Étienne 2013 website. See you in Saint-Étienne!

Design and Innovation Forum flyer

Jan 30

Less than three weeks to submit your user-centred design in Living Lab projects!

The Design for All Foundation Awards are once again looking for the best user-centred design projects undertaken in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Last year a new category was introduced to foster co-creation and user-led innovation: User-centred design in Living Labs. Anyone can submit their ideas for a user-centred design project, with the winning projects being tested out in Living Labs. Project proposals should relate to one of the following areas:

  • street furniture
  • the health sector
  • multimedia and/or digital services

The deadline for sending applications is 17 February 2012, and the winners will be announced in a ceremony on 20 March, as part of the International Design Biennial in Saint-Étienne.

In need of inspiration? Check out last year’s winning project, Safety Navigation by Petri Pulli of the University of Oulu, along with the other projects which reached the finals, on the Design for All Foundation website.

Composite image of woman leaving house with device emitting rays and an arrow pointing to icons such as a church, shopping trolley etc.

Safety Navigation y Petri Pulli, User-centred design in Living Labs award winner 2013