A research chair in design with the support of Harmonie Mutuelle, Loire-Atlantique department, Nantes Métropole and the General Secretariat for Regional Affairs of the Pays de la Loire Prefecture
On March 16 2017, L’École de design launched the Design & Innovation for the public sector Chair overseen by the Care Design Lab with the support of Harmonie Mutuelle, Loire-Atlantique department, Nantes Métropole and the General Secretariat for Regional Affairs of the Pays de la Loire Prefecture. It is the second design-led research chair for L’École de design after the launch of the Banque Populaire Atlantique-LIPPI Connected Environments Chair in 2014 and is intended to strengthen expertise on the relationship between design and public policy. The creation of these chairs reflects an ambition to develop design research in our Design Labs combining research and teaching departments. An agreement signed with l’Université de Nantes and the engagement in the regional program “Research-Training-Innovation Creative Industries of West France" overseen by l’Université de Nantes and run jointly by L’École de design Nantes Atlantique are part of a drive to promote interdisciplinarity in the approach to innovation.
The objectives of the chair
The chair aims to develop design-led research dedicated to the co-construction of innovative public actions together with citizens and public and private stakeholders:
• Promote the emergence of applied experimental research for use- and user-centered public action design;
• Be a research observatory on public action design, at a national and international level (human, economic, social, cultural, technical and environmental stakes);
• Enhance the Master’s course curriculum by training student designers in public service design;
• Promote industrial, institutional and academic collaborations concerning public action issues dedicated to society;
• Promote the incubation of innovative projects in the field of public action by stimulating entrepreneurship;
• Contribute knowledge relating to the themes linked to innovative public action.
The research in the Design & Innovation in public sector Chair focuses primarily on so-called vulnerable users/citizens (children, the elderly, people with disabilities or who are socially excluded). These users, with their increased sensitivity to situations and contexts, help guide us towards new practices and make various problems more explicit. The chair will help reveal these issues and involve users in the co-construction of solutions in the context of public service missions.
Thanks to iterations of experiments and tests jointly designed with the stakeholders, design-led research will result not only in the creation of tools and methodologies, but also in the identification of appropriate solutions that will benefit all of the above-mentioned populations. The research subjects will focus on questions of environmental and social quality of life, health and independent living.
“Design accompanies societal changes by proposing concrete and desirable scenarios; it is logical that we should be at the cutting edge of changing attitudes to users in public action. This chair will allow us to increase our relevance and expertise on the subject, in co-construction and continuous dialogue with the stakeholders,” explains Christian Guellerin, director of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.
The Design & Innovation for public sector Chair is directed by Gaël Guilloux, who is also director of the Care Design Lab.
A program run by Care Design Lab
Set up in 2014, the Care Design Lab addresses the themes of health and environmental and social quality of life. It brings together public and private players as well as businesses, associations and individual players with the aim of creating, developing and testing responsible, innovative and exploratory measures (services, spaces, products, digital interfaces, connected objects, communication media, tools, etc.)
The methods and tools used come from all fields of design: social design, service design, design management, digital design, spatial design, product design and graphic design.
Partners of the Design & Innovation for public sector Chair
The Design & Innovative for public sector Chair is backed by partners who are convinced by L’École de design Nantes Atlantique’s approach and the importance of research on independent living, health and energy in so-called vulnerable users:
• Philanthropic Company: Harmonie Mutuelle (France’s leading health insurance provider);
• Institutional founding members: Département de Loire-Atlantique, Nantes Métropole and SGAR Pays de la Loire. The institutional founding members will help provide the ideal observation field for the research carried out by the chair by facilitating access to users.