Paper

Fostering engagement through creative collaboration

30th September 2020

Fostering engagement through creative collaboration

Design innovation aims to tackle complex societal challenges through new design practices and bespoke methods of engagement (McAra-McWilliam, 2012). Creative collaboration is a core aspect of design innovation practice, involving diverse stakeholders including academic, business and civic partners, and importantly end users within the design process. Innovation in the health and care context requires collaboration between a variety of actors when designing transformative product and service solutions (Bradwell and Marr, 2008). Consequently, the focus of design has shifted from the artefact or outcome, to the design of an open and participative process that relies on the direct contextual insight of participants, their creativity and lived experience, and is inclusive of a multiplicity of perspectives. Experience Labs open up the design innovation process to multiple stakeholders by employing a participatory design approach. The Labs provide a space for collaboration and co-creation among a range of stakeholders and end users (French, Teal and Raman 2016). Active participation within Experience Labs requires participants to engage both with the concepts being explored, and with each other’s points of view. We discuss our approach to designing spaces for collaboration which foster engagement and participation in the creative process, among multiple stakeholders. Through examples, we discuss the tools, artefacts and activities that support participants to meaningfully engage with
ideas, and strategies for curating groups and managing collaboration. We share design learning regarding engagement and the resulting impact on people, processes and outcomes, and consider how this approach may be applied in other contexts to foster engagement.