“Design for Government”
8 weeks, Mar / May 2014, Team Project
with Ekaterina Ohotnikova, Salla Seppälä, Aura Koljonen, Fangyi Lee
Aalto University, Creative Sustainability programme
client: the finnish Ministry of the Environment
Design for Government
Design for Government is a pilot course from Aalto University that took place in 2014, under the master’s programme in Creative Sustainability, in collaboration with the finnish Ministry of the Environment. Taking inspiration from various initiatives worldwide such as Public Policy Lab, MindLab, and Helsinki Design Lab, the aim of the course was to show the possibilities of Design as a way to stimulate innovation in the government and the public sector both to design students and to institutions. As design strategist Marco Steinberg communicated in his guest lecture at the beginning of the course, design can stimulate public sector innovation by thinking in systems instead of relying isolated areas of expertise and by involving citizens in the decision-making process through Human-centered Design.
Our team was one of three working with the Ministry on the issue of plastic bags and their harmful impact on the seas. In 2014 the European Parliament approved a proposal for plastic lightweight carrier bags reduction, allowing individual countries to decide the measures to take towards this goal. This is we came in: the Ministry decided to try using design students and their skills to help decide what is the best way for Finland to reduce its plastic bag pollution.
[if you are in a hurry, you can skip to the outcome]