Conference article

Civic engagement as participation in designing for services

Lara Salinas
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Adam Thorpe
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Alison Prendiville
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Sarah Rhodes
London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

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Published in: ServDes2018. Service Design Proof of Concept, Proceedings of the ServDes.2018 Conference, 18-20 June, Milano, Italy

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 150:26, s. 311-322

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Published: 2018-07-05

ISBN: 978-91-7685-237-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)

Abstract

In spite of the increased interest on collaborative and participatory design approaches to design in public sector, less attention has been paid to the contribution of design into civic engagement in local decision-making. This paper takes an organisational perspective to explore the role of civic engagement activities in local decision-making cycles, drawing on literature and insights from a workshop with local authorities’ representatives and art and design academics. Zooming out from specific civic engagement activities, the paper outlines local decision-making as a design process, proposes four scenarios, and provides insights into better understanding the decision-making cycles that lead to service transformation in local authorities. The authors argue that while design can facilitate civic engagement practices, an increased understanding of local decision-making cycles can enhance the adoption of participatory approaches in designing for public services in local authorities.

Keywords

public sector, civic engagement, democracy, service transformation

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