Co-design & co-production with Daniela Selloni
In a service design project, there’s a huge difference between doing for and doing with. The last decade has seen the emergence of a great number of activities labeled as “co-design projects” (doing with), ranging over a variety of services in different fields, encompassing private, public, and third sectors. That’s the point of the ongoing module led by Daniela Selloni about co-design and co-production. The specific objective of the course is to train students in co-design methods and tools: in fact, programming and managing the involvement of users and stakeholders in the design process is considered nowadays a key competence for service designers.
The notion of co-design is precisely based on the idea that people having different voices should participate and collaborate within a design process: this is even more important in complex and systemic projects as services are. The course will provide the basics of co-design together with a series of case studies to complement the theoretical part. The “Collaborative Design Framework” will be used to guide and enrich the discussion, a framework developed by the teacher with other authors to classify and characterize different co-design projects (see the open-access book “Massive Codesign” in the suggested readings). Above all, students will be called to experiment with co-design activities, adopting a learning-by-doing approach, by ideating, developing, and running two different co-design sessions: one on a digital mode and one on an in-presence mode. A fictional topic will be proposed to practice with co-design: this is because the focus will be on the conception and organization of activities, rather than on the service contents. The common theme will be co-working, a service which should be familiar to everyone and easy to be discussed and implemented, especially thanks to the workshop our students had last week. Hence, starting from something well-known, the idea is to envisage a program of co-design activities to specifically expand that service, conceiving proper “boundary objects” and tools to guide the sessions. Special attention will be also paid to the style of guidance of the sessions, discussing a range of styles from facilitating to steering activities, focusing on the different roles which should be covered by participants. Finally, a reflection will be proposed on the evaluation of co-design activities, discussing process-oriented and/or result-oriented approaches.
At the end of the module, our students will be able to navigate within the co-design world, deepening approaches, methods, and tools. They’ll learn how to ideate and organize co-design activities, as well as to facilitate, guide, and evaluate co-design activities. Finally, they’ll know how to handle the different levels of user participation in the service process.