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By Guillem Bacete (UVEG)

Hosted at the University of Valencia in late January, the workshop “Design Policy and Innovation Capacity,” featured three projects with their own unique visions, but united by a belief that design can be a catalyst for innovation.

Vides Creuades, presented by Irene Reig, aims to make visible, connect and involve the neighbors in the construction of the community of the Orriols neighborhood, which has a high density of immigrant population.

CivicMetro, presented by Maje Reig, tries to maximize the value of the processes of civic innovation, that is, the search for solutions involving citizens. To this end, they have designed an evaluation system that goes beyond the result, trying to explain why a project has or hasn’t worked.

Think Tank, Do Tank and Show Tank from the Institute for Urban Innovation and represented by Silvia Puerto, is a three-level co-creation methodology in which the expert and the user interact and exchange their points of view, leading to a test of the result.

The Jan. 28th event focused on design as a vector of innovation, within the framework of the project H2020 Designscapes project. The three above initiatives selected for the second phase of Designscapes funding were presented and awarded 25,000 euros.

After the presentations, the debate was opened up on the innovative dimension of design. Moderated by Professor Pau Rausell, director of University of Valencia’s Econcult, the debate featured the participation of design experts such as Marisa Gallén (Associació València Capital del Disseny), Kike Correcher (Filmac) and Xavier Giner (EASD Valencia), who provided various keys to the incorporation of design in the public sector. The following priorities were established as a result:

– The creation of pedagogy or culture of design that goes beyond methodological tools such as Design Thinking, so that a transformative dynamic is created that is open to user-oriented solutions.

– Training public sector professionals through workshops and immersion experiences in design processes.

– Researching the functioning and methodologies of design to facilitate its extrapolation to other areas.

– Incorporation of a professional profile of “design manager”, with the capacity to understand, question and change the way in which work is carried out in public institutions.

– To institutionalize design in the public sector, with the creation of a council or body of designers with the aim of providing solutions from a new perspective.

Lead image credit: Bertrand Hauger
Inside image credit: Chuan Li