“OPEN Glasgow brings design thinking and clear communication to the heart of the organisation.” The fact that this statement came from our procurement team shows how central the design-led approach is to the whole Future City | Glasgow programme.

Although design-led projects are often assumed to be more costly, focused on unnecessary quality or are more complex – the reality is more that a good design-led project begins by fully considering the needs of users and future users, and employs innovation and careful judgement to deliver the best product within budget.
Scottish Government Independent Review of Procurement in Construction (October 22nd 2013)

Design at the heart of public services

In line with the OPEN Manifesto, OPEN starts with the users’ needs. OPEN collaborates, co-creates and incorporates user feedback. The project aims to include everyone interested in shaping the future city: from data providers, to data developers and data users too. OPEN promotes an integrated view of the citizen who can play any (and many) of the roles at any time.

The OPEN approach experiments with new ways of thinking and doing, asks questions, accepts risk, starts small and iterates. It aims to make complex subjects look easy, inviting and accessible; and to personalise services.

Co-creating the future city

As those concerned with innovation now widely understand, design is key, not as an add-on, but as a way of structuring development

Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, Design for Public Good

Embedding design will help shape a future city able to respond to the multifaceted needs of its citizens – present and future.

OPEN will also experiment with a design-led approach, inviting users to imagine what future services might look like in the future – starting with the least glamorous of all, yet essential to residents: bin collections and bulk uplift.

Stay tuned for more posts on this subject: Pippa Gardner on prototyping, Brian Scott on building the data portal, and Snook on the progress of the bin collection and bulk uplift project. There is space for you to contribute to the conversation: comment below, talk to us on Twitter @openglasgow or simply drop us an email!