Camilla Buchanan's Story

Camilla Buchanan's Story

Camilla's Fellowship investigated how design is being used to tackle complex problems in government and society.

The Fellowship

The design process is increasingly seen to be relevant to strategic and organisational challenges, not just for the creation of tangible outputs like products.

In governments around the world, design methods are being used in the development of frontline services and public policies. These methods are varied, but in essence involve a user-centred approach, clear visual communications, multi-disciplinary working and extensive testing. However, there are considerable knowledge gaps, particularly in the emerging area of design and public policy development.

Camilla visited Tokyo to look at the relationship between design and responses to a rapidly ageing population. She also travelled across the USA and met people from government, university research centres, not-for-profits and businesses who are using design to address strategic challenges such as the development of healthcare systems and resource management.

The Results

Camilla’s Fellowship hugely expanded her knowledge of new areas for design, and created numerous new opportunities and contacts.

On her return to the UK Camilla organised several events involving people she met and insights she gained from the trip. The knowledge she gained continues to significantly inform her writing and wider work.

One of the most important benefits of the Fellowship was the space and structure that it created for Camilla to talk first-hand with the people leading design into new areas, particularly in the public sector. This improved her knowledge of where design methods can be applied in government, as well as her ability to explain the relevance of design in this context and to reflect critically. Through her Fellowship, Camilla is now connected to a fascinating network of people internationally, and believes she has a far clearer understanding of the emerging possibilities for design.