As unshakable optimists, Snook’s work is underpinned by an unwavering belief that anything is possible.

These are our six principles


Design provides organisations with a practical way of ‘doing’ innovation by making ideas real and invisible processes visible.

What makes design different is the way we use it to work with people and draw out new ideas, visualise and prototype.

We generate innovative concepts by making space, mentally and physically to be creative and take risks. Design is not just about incremental change and service design but about systems and transformation.

Design = Action.

Find out how we used design to create a new way for you to talk to your local police force.

Connecting the dots

Snook naturally connect dots every day and see this as a central way we can add value to a system of change. Through our activities we come across many things – projects, people, resources and ideas. Mapping and connecting dots between ambitions, beliefs, structures and values is one way of minimising the work that happens in silos. We believe that no problem should ever have to be solved twice, although there may be iterations to how it is solved. We try to connect initiatives and encourage collaboration to ensure time, resource and energy is not wasted on re-inventing the wheel, whilst still being mindful of ‘local-fit’ for projects. This isn’t always to save on duplication, but also because the scale of the challenges we face requires many dots being connected together, quickly. As the saying goes – Aristotle – “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Find out what this looks like in reality


Snook love people. We believe if society is to meet the challenges it faces, people have to see they are capable of making change happen and can be the architects of their future.

We know from experience that the transformation of services and communities can’t and won’t happen without the engagement, participation and shift in outlook from the people that inhabit, serve and use them. Snook work with organisations to engage with people and communities directly to build services around their hopes & aspirations, capabilities and skills – recognising that service providers are people too.

If you asked us to design a local bakery to strengthen neighbourhood relationships, we would involve the bakers, the cake eaters, the delivery boy, the shop owner… it’s important to bring everyone involved in creating a situation together to design the best way to do this.

Snook’s approach is about enabling communities and individuals to see their role in the future and surfacing all the resources they already have to make it happen.

Find out how we empowered individuals and communites in Edinburgh by involving them in the design and delivery of services they use

Openness and learning

Snook believe being open is a core capability. We are on a journey of becoming an open learning organisation and building a platform that will enable learning and innovation to permeate multiple sectors in a new way.

Many of us trying to affect change are doing so with little time to reflect and share learning, or when we do so, that learning is often only disseminated into the pockets of our familiar networks. We want to better understand what it means to be an open learning organisation and what a platform like this would look like for Scotland. Partly, this is so when we do something, we can try to do it in such a way that is directly replicable for someone else to pick up and use. But also so that we can facilitate others in adopting our methods and practices more easily. We feel this is more than just open innovation, it’s an open culture that can spread through networks.

Find out how we practice being open


Snook are committed to seeing design work inside organisations. As opposed to design happening from the outside in, embedding design enables organisations to truly innovate the way they do things and change their internal culture.

At Snook, we like to think of this as design becoming part of an organisation’s DNA. This is about moving away from design being applied to specific issues and problems and moving towards design being integral to an organisation and it’s complexities.

Find out how we are creating a culture of embedding design in the public sector.

Scottish Re-Enlightenment

Snook’s design practice is also driven by our ambition to create a DIY Scottish Re-enlightenment. Snook are Scotland enthusiasts and we are driven by having an impact on the country we know and love so we want to re-create this but in a way that the people do it themselves – a country where citizens can find the solutions to their problems in each other, transforming the way public services are designed and delivered.

Scotland is our home and always will be but we embrace opportunities that takes Snook’s work to far away lands because it’s critical to our growth and development. We strive to bring learnings and ideas back to Scotland. As part of this, Snook have worked around the globe, from governments in Beijing, to Google Head Quarters in New York and Universities in Taiwan, theses projects have played a key role in inspiring and fuelling our teams expertise and our belief that fundamentally changing systems requires working in collaboration and partnership.

Meet The Scot who inspires us