2015 | A year in review
We’ve just got over the indulgence of our festive cheer to take a look back at the year of 2015. This was a particular year of growth for us, with our team spreading out across the country: working up north in Aberdeen, across the East Midlands and in Central London.
We opened a new office in London, grew its central HQ in Glasgow to a beautiful new space and notched up some fantastic new collaborations with local authorities, Government Departments and some great private sector service companies.
Let’s take a run down of our year: quarter by quarter.
Our project in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, funded by the EU Chest gets started. Throughout 2015, we co-delivered our AyeMind service (previously Project99) with 23 partners across Greater Glasgow, Young Scot and the Mental Health Foundation, continuing on into 2016. Our particular favourite moments are the workshops with young people building animated gifs to create content for the service and hearing about our service being used by professionals in the field to find digital tools to use in the mental health field.
Dearest Scotland, our self-initiated project crowdsourcing letters to the future of Scotland hits the target of £10,000 on Kickstarter with the support of you. We get our first book design underway and partnership with publishers RingWood Publishing. You can purchase the final book here.
Creating digital tools for mental health and employment support
We continue our research with the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions on how digital can support the journey in, out and during employment in relation to positive mental health and wellbeing. In partnership with The Point People, we are re-commissioned to produce follow-up solutions on how the research could be taken forward into products and services by the system. You can read the report below:
Culture Shift Athens
In partnership with the British Council, we run our 4th Culture Shift, this time in Athens. Alex and Sarah spend three days in the Greek capital running a hack focused on surfacing more grassroots cultural activity in the city. The event is supported by Google and the winners take a trip to Youtube in London.
We complete our 9 month relationship with the fantastic Carr Gomm. We worked inside the agency to actively embed design thinking to improve their innovation capacity and service design. The results created Carr Gomm futures, an in-house research and development unit, which is now actively staffed, and a series of projects where cross sections of the staff came together to research and design new interventions to improve their care delivery.
Department for Education
In March, we kicked off our 12 month project with the Department for Education, Codesigning Care. Based out of London, we have been working with Affective State, Kent University and the University of Portsmouth. The project explores how technology can support young people in care to stay safe; recognise and manage their emotions and behaviour; and communicate more effectively with practitioners.
Glasgow Service Jam
Our long time friends, The Global Service Jam, come around again and we run the annual Glasgow leg of the Service Jam. We love running this event where anyone with or without ‘design experience’ can come together and learn a bit about prototyping, design and have some fun on the side too.
Led by Valerie Carr, in partnership with SeeMe, we brought together a great group of people from all over Scotland to work on ideas and projects that help tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.
Culture Shift Dubai
We run our second Culture Shift of 2015, this time in Dubai at the JamJar. Our wonderful friends at Flux Video produce an amazing video of the weekend.
Cabinet Office | Designing Social Investment
Commissioned by the Cabinet Office and in collaboration with The Point People, we continue our research into the Social Investment sector. Our report captured findings from our design-led research and prototyping project that aimed to find ways to improve the process of seeking and applying for social investment for social ventures. The final report can be found here.
Open London office
We confirm our London office and get to work on taking over a space in collaboration with Origin Housing Association. In collaboration with The Point People, we open The Interchange: London. Hello London!
Snook visits Austria
We are kindly invited by the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) to keynote on Social Innovation and how design is considering the total experience of tourism. We talk about the Glasgow Smiles better campaign, and how involving the local community in service delivery can drive results and volunteering in cities.
Apps for Good
We continue to work with Apps for Good to research their fellows programme. We spend time with young people who have been on their programme, reviewing their experience and looking at the process of the competition. We spend a fantastic evening in Reuters, London, witnessing 11-16 year olds pitch and present their apps for social good.
Systems Changers has been a particularly special programme for us in 2015. Working with The Point People and Lankelly Chase, we support the branding and running of this initiative.
Systems Changers is an investment in frontline workers who support people facing severe and multiple disadvantage. The projects enables them to develop their voice, their collective knowledge and their influence on a wider system. We worked with 10 frontline workers up to December this year embedding skills from systems thinking to service design to surface insights on how the system needs to, and can be changed from the perspective of frontline workers.
Includem: Now Including Design
Keira finishes her 12 month programme with Includem whose one-to-one support model helps young people in creating and sustaining positive changes so that they lead happy and healthy lives. The Transitional Support Service takes young people through the transition from Child Services to adult life and the charity asked Snook to help develop the future of this service. Read more about Keira’s experience here.
What a year we spent with Broadway Cinema! In collaboration, we ran a £1 million 12 month programme Know How that supported arts, cultural and heritage organisations across the East Midlands to develop design and digital thinking capabilities inside their organisation. We had a brilliant time working with Broadway and the story doesn’t end here.
BFI Cinema Know How kicks off
Continuing our work with Broadway, we create Cinema Know How. It aims to deliver a bespoke, forward thinking and open source programme designed around the cinema experience with impact for venues, their audience and culture change. From June onwards, we worked with Broadway to test the programme and then open up the programme to six new cinemas.
CycleHack 25 cities
We support the running of the second Global Annual CycleHack. CycleHack is a global hack focused on reducing barriers to cycling. This year, it takes place in 25 cities and our friends Maklab and Trakke dive in to support the initiative from our home town in Glasgow.
Our friends at Seric launch SmartSTEMs: encouraging, involving and inspiring more young people into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Their first mission in 2015 is to inspire young girls, aged 11-18, to become the great thinkers and creators of tomorrow. Snook’s Sarah gave a talk on co-designing a better world in a room full of inspiring young girls in June and even managed to fit in a brilliant Mexican wave!
Core 77 Award
So, we only go and bag the top award from Core 77 in the Social Impact category for CycleHack. We’re honoured, given the other awards went to some of the biggest design agencies, including IDEO.
Glasgow City Council Website
We continue our work with Glasgow City Council to engage citizens in the re-design of their new website. A first for the Council, we directly bring the public into the process, researching their needs from services and relaying this back iteratively week on week to the Council to modify both their user experience and content for their forthcoming new site.
Make Things Last (Zero Waste Scotland)
We support Zero Waste Scotland and their Make Things Last campaign to run a quick fire hack in our studio to develop new service models for the shared economy. Ideas span from recycling and reusing birthday cards to rent a suitcase models for travelling.
We take part in Tribe Porty’s first TedxPortobello: an amazing event we feel lucky to be part of. Our Sarah manages to squeeze her design journey into less than 15 minutes.
Sexual Health and Wellbeing report
Working with Young Scot and LGBT Youth Scotland last year, we explored young people’s views on sexual health and relationships in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area for the NHS GGC.
Young Scot hosted an online survey and all partners were involved in a series of workshops with young people. We worked closely with a core group of young people who acted as peer researchers through The Matter process, producing a newspaper outlining their findings. The results were published and our original report here.
Design for health | Sheffield
Valerie is invited by Sheffield Hallam University to take the lead of a team at their 24 hour Design Challenge at the 2015 Design4Health conference, organised by Matt Dexter and led by Julia Cassim of Kyoto Design Lab.
Revolution Talk at Creative Edinburgh Mornings
Sarah gives a new talk entitled ‘Revolution’ and building movements for our friend Alex Humphrey Baker at Edinburgh’s Creative Mornings.
Over a four-month period, our Andy and Alex facilitated 5 workshops with Vista: a leading provider of services for blind and partially sighted people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The initial brief aimed to deliver and support the upskilling and capacity building of staff at Vista by introducing members of the team to design thinking and service design processes.
New Office and Interchange opens
We move! Our team rolls their sleeves up to move us from our humble beginnings on Bath Street to our mammoth new space on Miller Street. We open our co-working and events space which still has space and is open for events at half day and full day rental.
Stirling Futures Lab
We run a hack focused on Stirling City Centre and the forth coming Culture Plan. On behalf of Forth Valley College, we invite students to build prototypes of what they’d like to see the city centre used for.
Society by Design Pecha Kucha
In collaboration with Taktal, we run a Pecha Kucha at the Whisky Bond entitled Society by Design.
We ask what design means to different sectors of society and how we apply the process to engage citizens in the design of the future. Our very own Valerie and Keira take to the stage.
Better World by Design
Sarah is flown out to Providence in the States to join a panel with the Director of Frog and curator at the Moma in NYC under the fine roof of Brown University. We have an amazing time and kudos to the brilliant organising panel who like to dabble in Karaoke too.
Dearest Scotland Book Launch at Scotgov
What a year for Dearest Scotland. We close the core of the project with an invited exhibition inside Scottish Parliament and book launch in Edinburgh. We’re particularly happy when Nicola Sturgeon shows up to grab her copy of the book dressed in the brand colours. And that’s it – Snook’s first published book.
We begin an exicitng new project with Aberdeen City Council to support them in engaging citizens and the cultural sector to co-produce a Culture Plan for the city. We launch a Citizens Circle and Culture Circle to support the development of wider public events. We’re continuing to run and update Culture Aberdeen here into 2016.
Building on our CycleHack work, we support Sustrans to develop a model to bring interested citizens together to encourage walking in the city. Run by Keira and Sam, they bring together a variety of groups to undertake fast paced research and create design interventions and prototypes for the city.
Inspiring City Awards
We don’t win but at least we’re shortlisted for a finalist in the Inspiring City Awards for young business person of the year. The whole team join the evening and our Eve wins selfie of the evening (she does do communications after all!)
Whose Round Freshers Weeks
Our work from 2014 continues on in 2015 as we deliver our Alcohol Awareness work for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. During September, our busiest period kicks off, spending time at Fresher Festivals collecting Dear Alcohol stories from new students. We will be publishing these in 2016.
Innovative Learning Week | Edinburgh University
We work with our friends at Edinburgh University to co-design a hack pack and model for rethinking events at the annual Innovative Learning Week.
Aye Mind Gif Workshops
AyeMind continues to grow over 2015 and we run a host of workshops with young people to create animated GIFs for the Aye Mind site.
London Design Festival Launch
We take part in London Design Festival and Emma opens up our London base to talk about Snook and Service Design. We co-host with Jon Foster of Origin Housing Association, Settle and The Point People.
Unusual Suspect festival
Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) from the Young Foundation bring their conference up North and Snook support in designing the host tools, opening up our new studio as Café during the festival. Over 600 people engaged with the Festival across the city. #UnusualGlasgow was supported by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Nesta, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Our friends at Rebase, Dublin kindly invite Sarah over for a flying visit to talk about social innovation and design.
We’re awarded a Vocational Learning and Technology fund by the UFI charitable trust to continue the work on BadgeMaker we began in 2013. BadgeMaker will allow young people to display a range of skills that build upon traditional qualifications. As educators and businesses devise their own badges, we’re expanding the ways in which young people can personalise their learning. Badges act as a digital form of validation that can be shared with educators and future employers.
We’re excited to be working in partnership with Borders College and Dynamically Loaded to bring this to life in 2016.
Promoting Change Network
We work with Lankelly Chase again to run a two-day Promoting Change Network event in Birmingham with 150 people. We come together to discuss actions we can take to create a supportive, trusting and relationship-based approach to end severe and multiple disadvantage. The groups create 14 projects for taking forward in the New Year to drive a movement around equality and people facing severe and multiple disadvantage.
National Galleries of Scotland
We run a project with National Galleries of Scotland and pupils from James Gillespie High School in Edinburgh to design interactive media concepts to promote the gallery to their peers.
Students took part in workshops, designed in collaboration with us, thinking about what they might want to gain from looking at modern art in a gallery setting. The aim of the project was for the students to come up with ideas for a digital resource, using the exhibition as inspiration, and to learn about digital career possibilities within the creative industries. Read more about the project here and the outputs here.
We run a hack focusing on the future of the digital work force with Fife Council. This is a first step into this practice for the Council. Hosted in collaboration with Microsoft, we work for a day with staff from different departments to design new initiatives around what the future workforce needs to meet the needs of service users in the future.
We work with our friends at Domino Letting to document their end to end processes. We love working with local business and supporting them to become more efficient and customer-centric in what they do. We create a new service manual for the letting agency and a digital Wiki to continuously update and find work processes for all new and existing staff.
We continue to work on a new online Home Care service. We undertake research with UK citizens and their families to research the feasibility of buying home care online and design a service model for integrating care providers, council direct payments and service users all into one journey. The final alpha product is being built now for testing in 2016 which we’ll be supporting.
Service Design for Uni Training
Working with our long time collaborator, Jean Mutton of Go Process Design, we deliver our final training sessions in Service Design for Universities. This year, we’ve worked with SROC and self-hosted the training in our own Interchange. Expect more of this in 2016.
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park win award
Our friends over at Loch Lomond only go and bag themselves an award from Scottish Government for Our Live Park, an initiative that Snook supported back in 2014 to improve the engagement with the local community in the Main Issues Report. Congratulations team!
Andy in Poland
Our Andy heads over to Krakow to present at #WDKRK on design innovation. He gets over 150 people playing with play-doh and delivers a stellar talk.
Over 2015, with a growing a team and getting our studio move underway, we slowly developed a new brand. You’ll see from some of our open blog postings, it’s really tough to make the time to service design yourself.
We’re going for the soft launch approach, you may have seen elements of it appearing across our platforms but we’re awfully proud of our new logo and brand.
Keep your eyes peeled for our new website in 2016.
What can you expect in 2016?
There are some big new projects in the pipeline that we can’t quite announce yet but will be coming to your inbox shortly in 2016.
We’re continuing to support CycleHack in 2016 and will be helping them get over the line of 70 cities this year.
We’re going to be running our own training on service design and sector specific training: from health to cultural sector. With over 7 years experience designing services and 150 projects under our belt, we don’t just bring the textbooks and methods but case studies and stories of how it works in the real world.
So, cheers and here’s to a brilliant 2016!