Fellowship report now available: “Applying Design Approaches to Policy Making: Discovering Policy Lab”

During 2014-2015 I spent three days a week embedded as an academic researcher in Policy Lab, a team in the Cabinet Office working closely with government departments and with the UK Civil Service’s policy profession. This was enabled by a fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council while I was principal research fellow at the University of Brighton, building on other work including Mapping Social Design Research and Practice. Policy Lab is one example of an innovation team inside government, a growing network and set of practices.

The report summarises findings from the research informed by literature in design studies and organisation studies. It uses a format inspired by graphic novels in order to open up the work of interpretation about the role of design approaches in policy making and government.

Some excerpts from the report are below. If you want to (re)use them, please note this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please use this citation: Kimbell, L. and Macdonald. H. (2015). Applying Design Approaches to Policy Making: Discovering Policy Lab. University of Brighton.

Click to download report (6MB, PDF)










agonisticlab_key_insightsPolicy Exploration Framework

Design for policy innovation event and report

People-centred design, creativity and co-design are increasingly visible in the UK and internationally. 18 months after it was set up, Policy Lab based in the Cabinet Office has demonstrated in its projects with government departments that design approaches bring valuable insight, creativity and collaboration support to the early stages of policy making.

Join us for a discussion which looks more broadly at the role of design in government and asks whether policy makers should be policy designers.

Date: Thursday 8 October 1800-1930 followed by drinks/networking
Location: Whitehall

Confirmed speakers
Mat Hunter, director of strategy at Central Research Laboratory, former chief design officer at the Design Council
Dr Derek Miller, The Policy Lab (Oslo)/UN Institute for Disarmament Research
Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation, former head of policy profession, Department for Transport
Paul Maltby, Director, Cabinet Office

Who should come?

Civil servants especially policy makers
Design specialists inside government
Policy innovators and think tanks
Academics from the design, public administration and innovation communities
People working in international innovation labs
People supporting government to innovate and use design

How to attend

Email lucykimbell at gmail to get more information  (for security reasons the sign up is not public)
Copies of my report about design for policy making resulting from my one year AHRC research fellowship in Policy Lab/University of Brighton, will also be available. A PDF version will also be posted here soon.