The Social Design Methods Menu

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Just in time for the Christmas reading list the Social Design Methods Menu by Lucy Kimbell and Joe Julier. A menu, rather than a manual, it suggests approaches and methods for a range of different people and situations, and suggests seven habits of social designing.


1. Tell stories and make maps
2. Work at human scales and connect across networks of people and things
3. Look at both the detail and the big picture
4. Make things to explore, test and learn
5. Imagine scenarios of use, and provoke and inspire alternatives
6. Make the familiar unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar
7. Create designs that are based on the ways people actually do things, rather than focussing on what
people say they do, or what other people think they do

Real the whole piece here

Child death review: learning the lessons, differently

Each year in the UK around 260 children die or are seriously harmed and £5 million is spent “learning the lessons”. The same “lessons” have been emerging since the first UK child death inquiry in 1945 without noticeable impact on child fatalities.

Child Death Review (CDR) processes in the UK have evolved almost exclusively from social work. The Scottish Universities Insight Institute are hosting a knowledge transfer event headed by Alyson Leslie, Linda Walker and Professor Sue Black from the University of Dundee. The aim is to think about child death review processes differently, bringing together expertise from the fields of forensic investigation, psychology, education, design, statistics, policing, law, social work and health.

Next week  I’ll be responsible for design facilitation at the first of four CDR events over the coming months at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. Recent Master of Design graduates Sara Nevay and Angela Tulloch will be working with me to enable participants to use  design techniques to quickly understand the roles of the forty national and international co-participants, mapping their relationship to the child at the centre of the Child Death Review and exploring the information that they collect pertaining to the life and death of a child.

Hazel White, Course Director, Master of Design for Services

Social design – research resources

Applying design thinking to complex social issues, such as those explored by our Masters students at Dundee, requires a critical, well informed understanding of the underlying issues, a grasp of the broad theoretical approaches and an awareness of where to find current research on relevant themes. A new blog post Social design – research resources by Master of Design’s Professor Mike Press is a great starting point.

SEE HERE! Degree Show Fringe – Thursday 17th May 2-4pm

Come and join us to see and hear about current master of design projects and tell us how you think designers should be working with the people of Dundee.

The event links in with Totally Dundee: a series of events  showcasing activities in keeping with Dundee’s total place approach, involve multi-agency working, early intervention, innovation and/or examples of truly citizen-centred services. Master of Design Programme Director, Hazel White will talk about how masters students can connect with the work already being done in citizen-centred services in Dundee and students will showcase their masters projects in progress. These include:

  • developing activities with the users and committee of Baxter Park
  • work with St Mary’s Community Centre
  • development of co-design tools to enable participation
  • activities for long-stay hospital patients
  • jewellery to assist people with complex needs
  • improving the experience of international students
  • bringing home to us what our online profile really says about us

The Linking Thinking team will also be with us, on the lookout for new ideas to incorporate into their ideas jam on Friday 25th May.

We’d love to to join us. You can find us here

AHRC funded studentships in Design at the University of Dundee

Applications are sought from suitably qualified candidates wishing to pursue research leading to PhD status under the supervision of leading interdisciplinary researchers with an emphasis on Design orientated research , under the terms of the AHRC allocation for 2012/13. Full-time bursaries of £13,590 and PhD fees will be covered by the Studentships for qualified applicants.  (Note: only UK and EU nationals are eligible for these scholarships).

Full details are now available at

The studentships are offered for commencement in the 2012-2013 academic year within the following research themes of DJCAD and the School of Humanities. The studentships are offered for commencement in the 2012-2013 academic year within the following research themes of DJCAD and the School of Humanities:

  • Digital Economy, Futures & Culture
  • Visualisation & the Application of Visual Thinking
  • Archival & Curatorial, Practice, History  & Theory (NOT: Art, Media, and Visual Studies)
  • History, English and Philosophy

Please note the following timescales & dates:
Deadline for applications: Monday 4th June 2012 (5pm UK time)
Notifications & interviews:  Week beginning 11th & 18th June respectively
Expected start dates: September 2012

We’re looking for a lecturer/senior lecturer in Service Design to join our team here in Dundee

We are  launching our new Design for Services Programme in September 2012 and we are looking for someone  to join our team:

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Service Design

University of Dundee – Duncan of Jordanstone, College of Art & Design

Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties

You will play a key role in developing our research and teaching in Service Design and collaborating with others within DJCAD and the University of Dundee. We have strong interests in the emergent discipline of service design and its role in business, public services and policy development. Our research in this area is currently supported by a variety of grants from a diverse range of sponsors including health care providers, industry and social sectors. We expect you to have research interests that either consolidate or extend this activity. You will make a contribution to teaching at both UG and TPG levels in a studio based teaching environment. Details here

Snook Workshop

The future ain’t what it used to be…

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

You are invited to attend ‘The Future ain’t what it used to be’. We will be showing you how your great ideas, experiences and voices are coming to together to create a new vision for Dundee’s future.

You are welcome to extend this invitation to anyone you think would like to be part of the evening.

This event will be held in the Whitfield shopping centre.