Geert, as part of the Erasmus Governance Design Studio, can you explain to us what role design plays in your work?
At the Erasmus Governance Design Studio, we explore how design can enhance the problem-solving capacity of public organizations. On the one hand, we do this by looking at the work of other design agencies. On the other hand, we do this by applying design ourselves in the projects that we do. Basically, what we do to pursue our objective is research of design and research through design.
But why design? What is its value?
Design helps us come up with solutions that are both more desirable and more effective. Desirable, because the solutions are based on human values, concerns and experiences. Effective, because the solutions have evolved from rigorous exploration and experimentation. Design also enables collaboration.
Present day’s so-called ‘wicked problems’, such as climate change, income disparity or social injustice cannot be ‘fixed’ by a single organization or department. We all know that we need to collaborate in order to deal with these problems. But how we can collaborate is still a difficult question. Design provides an answer to this. It is a very powerful approach to align a variety of stakeholders both on process and content.