Glasgow Global Service Design Jam

Glasgow Global Service Design Jam

Stop talking start doing!

Kill your babies!

I took part in the Glasgow Global service jam this weekend. It was a last minute decision but I’m so glad I did it. My first service jam and it was an amazing experience. Lots of lovely people and lots of lovely food.

The Global Service Jam is a yearly event where participants from a range of fields are given 48 hours to create a service that could change the world. This year was the 5th Global Service Jam. I’ve just started learning about service design but it is all about designing services around people, in order improve the relationship and interaction between the provider and the end users. The Glasgow Jam was run by Snook, the team were absolutely fantastic!
We started on Friday with the top secret brief being revealed. This year it was an image of a piece paper being folded into a fortune teller. We brainstormed words or images that came to our minds from this. First as a big group then in smaller groups, even looking at opposites to what we were coming up with. Themes soon began to emerge and we formed teams based on them. I ended up with the amazing exploration team, Team Columbus with a great group of people. It was so much fun. Each team came up with a brief and a problem we were going to explore.
We decided to explore extreme use of technology by teenagers in the Glasgow area. With a focus on products or services which offer an opportunity of alternatives to the addictive nature of digital appliances, tools and apps – with the aim of moderating such behaviours and allowing this specific age group the freedom to step out of their virtual world.

I missed most of saturday when Team Columbus went out in the street to speak to the young people of Glasgow about their technology use habits. Interestingly they found that a lot of the teens they spoke to talked about the fear of missing out.  And made the first prototype, a social space for teenagers. On sunday there was a real push to start doing, we decided to use a persona and act out a prototype. We wanted to create a modern social space, where young people could be active and technology could be incorporated to encourage meaningful interaction.
Here’s what we made!

The best part was seeing how much the ideas changed from the starting point and seeing the range of services people came up with from using drawing to alleviate awkward situations to internet free restaurants. The range of techniques we used to explore our ideas from prototypes to personas were great and we could experiment without the fear of failure. But what I learned from the weekend was to just do it instead of talking about doing it.

Thanks again Snook and Team Columbus!
March making challenge – alternative futures

March making challenge – alternative futures

My goal for this year is to do one, fun/ side/ passion/ personal project per month. The only rules are that it has to be creative, experimental and most of all be FUN!
March- inspired by the project Hypothetical Developments my fun/ side project for March is to make hypothetical developments of empty or under used spaces I see around Glasgow. I’m gonna aim higher this month and aim for 10. I want to explore how spaces can be used to engage with people and alternative community use.
Here’s to a productive March :)!
Images via…mobcornon1mobcornon2
Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh curiousity = opportunity

Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh curiousity = opportunity

Just discovered the Sugru, by Jane, really randomly. I read her article in the brilliant book Make Your Mark: The creative’s Guide to building a business with impact. Went online 5 minutes later and stumbled on this post of an interview of hers on swiss miss. I guess it was meant to be 🙂
It’s a great interview and her article in the book is also brilliant. She talks about collaborating with customers, instead of waiting till the final product, showing them what they can do and empowering them to be your ambassadors. I also love how she discovered this product by experimeting at art school. She discovered that mixing silicone and wood, made this thing, bouncy. Her curiousity did not stop there she wanted to test the limits of what she’d made, what was the problem or opportunity it might solve?
“as a community we are collaborating towards a common goal, and that in itself, when it is recognised and reinforced through genuine conversation, is the most powerful reward”
Sugru- 21st Century Duct Tape
James White = You dont need clients to make work

James White = You dont need clients to make work

I found this brilliantly funny talk by James White on Organised Wonder. He talks about passion projects and using them to find your voice. 
He spent 4 years making experimental projects, just for fun. Playing with different things, different processes. He  ended up making drive poster that went viral, but more importantly it showed him what he loved to do. Making posters. 
His honesty is great
“I don’t know where it’s going but I’m getting out of the woods, being renegade and trying new things”
Miss Mag- Femininity in design

Miss Mag- Femininity in design

Miss- Mag- Miss Talks

Founded by two AA students Vera Van Gool and Mary Wang from a frustration about the lack of discourse on femininity in design. Miss Mag Miss Mag a lovely platform used to promote female talent in the creative industry, no matter how big or small. I particularly love the quirky informal formats they use from tea time talks to talks over dinner. The videos can be found here.

I look forward to seeing how Miss Mag develops.


Vere Van Gool (AA 5th Year) and Mary Wang

Founders of MISS

A great interview where they talk about how it came about can be found here


The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college_ Debbie Millman

The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college_ Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman

Debbie Milman is fast becoming one of my heroes. Here is her fantastic talk The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college.

What really struck me is when she said find and know your purpose. Hers is to ‘try to make the supermarket more beautiful.’ It also got me thinking about the importance of presentation, it made a huge difference at university to who succeeded or didn’t.

1. Design talent is equivalent to operational excellence
Provide empathy, talk about what you do in a way that allows viewers to understand your message. Understand your messaging and communicate it to others

2. Design is not about design- it is about a whole lot of other things
We need an encyclopaedic knowledge of the world. The client is looking for a return on their investment, the difference will it make in somebody’s life (the value proposition)

3. There are two things that are not really about what we think they are about; money and sex
Money is rarely about money, convince them that the value you’ll provide will be valuable enough for them to pay for it

4. Ideas are easy. Strategy is much harder
Strategy is the unique point of difference. It is choosing activities differently. You should be able to communicate what you are doing and why you do what you do. Mine is “make supermarkets a beautiful place”

5. know what you are talking about
Tell the truth especially when you don’t know something. People love to teach

6. Common vocabulary does not equate to common behaviour
Work on the design brief with the client to decide what the client language means

7. Relentlessly prepare
Prepare yourself for every possible outcome

8. Beware of artificial harmony
It allows you to come up with a game plan

9. Seek out criticism
Only use work that you love, don’t use fillers to show your skills. If you’re not making enough mistakes you’re not taking enough risks

10. You need to know how to present.
Take a class! Talk about your work in a way that creates a framework and decide what your criteria for success is.

“Busy is a way of organising you priorities if you really want to do something you’ll find the time to do it”

“Take opportunities to continue to be educated”