I’m the PhD candidate for Leapfrog at ImaginationLancaster. My PhD research interest lies in how and whether social media and other existing web platforms can effect creative collaboration and knowledge exchange between citizens, community group and the public sector. I’ll be looking in particular at what ways these platforms can facilitate collaboratively derived, community driven service and product innovation. Where this research dovetails closely with the wider Leapfrog programme, I will seek to make interventions and analysis into the projects we run over the three years as well as develop and lead small projects. I also support Leapfrog as a whole, contributing to areas including tool design, project development and communications.
I have a wide range of commercial experience across sectors as a graphic designer as well as experience as a creative facilitator in participatory/ community arts.
In particular, over the past three years, I have steadily built experience and knowledge in the field of co-design through work for ImaginationLanaster on the EU INTERREG PROUD project. This work included assisting on preparation and facilitation for public events and workshops, designing tools for creative consultation for Lancaster City Council and lead facilitating a 5 week Mini-MOOC through a closed Facebook group on the theory and practice of Co-design. Members of the latter included practitioners and academics in design and social innovation.
Members of the Leapfrog team recently supported and ran workshops with pupils from local schools, Heysham High and Stepping Stones, a pupil referral primary school, who were visiting Lancaster University to learn about university life and comic art as part of a project called The Comic Project
Sarah Campbell from the V&A Museum joins the Leapfrog team to develop tools to help understand the creative process
Since October last year, Leapfrog has been working with a group of young people to co-design tools to make sure adults in authority hear their voices
Leapfrog held a large, interactive tool sharing event at Lancaster University to close the Major Project 'Working with Young People' and share the tools that have been co-designed since it began in August 2015
A Research Dimensions plan for the research that will take place throughout the Working with Young People major project for Leapfrog has been produced
There seems to be an emerging case that some challenges of engaging with young people are universal, across all types of engagement, from one-to-one working up to national policy. As unlikely as this seems our tentative analysis of our first activity exploring public sector engagement with young people seems to be pointing in this direction
The IDEAS for Impact project developed and delivered a workshop on democratic renewal for the Scottish Government this month
Over 5 weeks during November and December 2014 the PROUD team delivered ‘Facemooc’ an innovative, online course in co-design. The first of its kind to utilise Facebook as a platform for open online learning
In discussion with Helen, after the 1st test we decided not to design a cover for the metal ground pins available at the Council
This project presented both a significant challenge and a distinct learning curve. However, the final products are the strong and successful result of the careful consideration the team put into every aspect of these tools
The successes at this point included progress made on the commenters. We had refined the notch design to ensure the shapes were a usable size which didn’t interfere with an A6 card when they interlocked
Our principal feeling about Dutch Design Week is that Eindhoven is a playground for ideas skilfully made reality. The festival explored what design practice could be in myriad ways as well as showing how people could choose to practice together
With the prototypes and designs ready for testing, the full project team met to review the progress. We gave a re-cap of the work completed so far, talking Helen, Leon and Gemma through our design process and the thinking behind the prototypes
Since the last meeting, the process of generating ideas, developing and producing tools the team can experiment and play with has moved quickly and yielded unexpected results
The PROUD project in the UK is taking an exciting new direction. After the rather intense, highly designed activities of Beyond the Castle we were looking for a different kind of challenge
Together with Leon and Gemma from PROUD we met with Helen Ryan, Public Realm Officer at Lancaster City Council, on Friday morning. Having revisited the key ideas identified for potential development in July, we spent the morning exploring what Helen considered most important about using the tools, and separating ideal-luxury elements from those she considers an absolute necessity