— Ministry of 'BZK'
Policymakers are ready for change, to adapt to complex societal problems. Designers are trained for that change. But who brings them together?
Year: 2020 - NOW
Client: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
Field: government, design
Agenda Stad & Regio
Rob & Robin (illustration)
Working together with Agenda Stad, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we realised that there was a blind spot in their City Deal methodology – and with policymaking in general. Both are great at spotting, framing and organising around challenges, but when it came to developing practical outcomes, something – or someone – was missing.
Our solution? Loket OntwerpKracht: a ‘design-power desk’, working as a hub to turn policy questions into design questions. To find new methods, approaches, imaginations – and people – for the complex tasks at hand. Not to mention developing a better connection overall between the governmental and design sector.
Why designers? Well, these issues are messy. They are often ambiguous or seemingly indefinable, broad in scale and jurisdiction – meaning they slip through the cracks of so many departments, disciplines, cities. This makes it hard to find where to start. Or how to start. Luckily, in this complex dynamic, designers can flip the script.
What are designers good for? Questioning: not taking anything for granted – finding the question behind the question. Demonstrating: illustrating and communicating issues clearly. Connecting: tying together various ideas, interests and stakeholders. Exploring: finding ideas and inspiration from unexpected angles. And activating: making issues relevant to others.
Loket OntwerpKracht serves as a design studio within the Ministry. First, it figures out what the question is – the starting point for working through a new issue. Then, it plays matchmaker, finding the perfect designers and skillsets for that theme. And, finally, it stays with the project until its completion: supervising, monitoring and evaluating to see it through.
As a result, Loket OK gets the trickiest issues onto the drawing board, with insightfulness and originality. Breaking through assumptions to forge collaborations between policy and the creative field – to put new solutions into practice.
Find out more via: www.agendastad.nl.