February 26, 2014
Service design non-profit Public Policy Lab has just released a project storybook on “Understanding NYC School Choice.” In partnership with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and the Office of Student Enrollment, the team conducted interviews with dozens of policymakers, school staff, parents, and 8th and 9th graders. After this ‘discovery’ phase, they identified four key needs that everyone in the process shares and proposed more than 30 opportunities to design services that respond to those needs–ready for implementers to take charge!
Each year more than 75,000 students navigate the admissions process to apply for seats at New York City’s 700+ public high school programs… Ultimately, we hope that the discovery process outlined in this document will inform the design of supports that assist students — particularly those from high-need and non-English-speaking families — in making more informed and confident decisions when applying to high school.
Click here to download and read “Understanding NYC School Choice,” online at PublicPolicyLab.org.
February 6, 2014
Heading into its second year, the popular Impact! Design for Social Change webinar series organized by the School of Visual Arts and Design Ignites Change kicks off on Friday, February 21, 2014. Worldstudio principal Mark Randall will return to host the free 30-minute sessions with business leaders, creative professionals and social change influencers and explore how design-driven ideas for social good are launched. The six webinars this year include:
Friday, February 21, 2014, 12:30pm EST
“Strategy Mapping: Starting Out Right”
with John Bruce, Forward Mapworks
Friday, March 21, 2014, 12:30pm EST
“Design Citizen: Working with the Government”
with Chelsea Mauldin, Public Policy Lab
Friday, April 11, 2014, 12:30pm EST
“Embedded Design: Impact from the Bottom Up”
with Ramsey Ford, Design Impact
Friday, April 18, 2014, 12:30pm EST
“The Legal Labyrinth: Where Do I Begin?”
with Carly Leinheiser, Perlman and Perlman
January 8, 2014
An 18-month study on New York City’s affordable housing services, conducted by the Public Policy Lab, the Parsons Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab, and New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development, has been presented in an 80-page publication available for free on Public Policy Lab’s website. This extensive yet delightful report documents the team’s service design process, including context studies, a kit of ideas, pilot proposals, and evaluation, with a mix of narrative, images, diagrams, and data. If you are involved or interested in affordable housing design and services, this report will provide you with provocative insights beyond building design derived from residents who utilize government services to find affordable accommodations. Kathryn Matheny, former Chief of Staff for the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, summarizes the collaborative experience:
Focusing on living conditions is not, in itself, an innovation for HPD employees — it is concern for residents and their quality of life that drives us, day in and day out, in our provision of services to New Yorkers. But viewing those services through the eyes of designers, residents, and service providers offers a clarifying perspective nonetheless — one that highlights the challenges residents can face when attempting to access and navigate the broad array of public services offered by the city of New York. It is my hope that by the end of this unique collaboration we will have gained a better understanding of that experience and used it to improve the clarity, effectiveness, and efficiency of our interactions with residents and the building owners who develop and maintain housing.
Click here to download “Designing Services for Housing,” online at PublicPolicyLab.org.
April 23, 2013
The Public Policy Lab, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education (DOE)–the largest school district in the country, with more than 1.1 million students and 1,700 schools–is investigating “how to create a better application experience for all students.” The organizations are currently accepting applications from professionals interested in participating in this project as Public Policy Lab Fellows. Three fellowships are available in the areas of design research, visual design, and project strategy. The application deadline is May 5, 2013.
Each year over 75,000 of New York City students participate in a complex school-selection and application process to gain admission to city public high schools. During the spring and summer of 2013, the Public Policy Lab will be investigating how to create a better application experience for all students, particularly those from low-income and non-English-speaking families, in order to support long-term gains in college and career readiness. This work is a partnership with the DOE’s Innovation Zone (iZone).
Click here to learn more about this NYC DOE opportunity from the Public Policy Lab, online at PublicPolicyLab.org.
December 13, 2012
On Tuesday, we published the first in a three-part series of “year end” pieces on Architizer, our 2012 Top 10 Public Interest Design Predictions in Review. The history is that a year ago, Archinect published our “Top 10 Design Initiatives to Watch in 2012–For The Public Good.” Here we are, a year later and wiser, to take a quick look back.
1. The TED Prize was awarded to “The City 2.0”
2. Design for America has, indeed, spread its wings
3. The Public Interest Design Institute hit the road
4. The 1% program eclipsed 1,000 firms
5. The Intern Development Program 2.0 took effect
6. Design Like You Give a Damn 2 hit the shelves
7. Studio H, the documentary, due out in 2013
8. Archiculture film in production
9. U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale showcased “Spontaneous Interventions”
10. Public Policy Lab took shape
Bonus: Rounding up to 12, one public interest media site reboots, while another waits.
Click here to read our “2012 Top 10 Public Interest Design Predictions in Review,” online at Architizer.com.
March 12, 2012
Several posts here at PublicInterestDesign.org have promoted and lamented the relatively small number of post-graduate opportunities to put ones skills to work for the public good, with the most recent being our call for a global design service corps. Today, we join Architectural Record in celebrating existing post-graduate fellowship opportunities in humanitarian design. All but one constitutes a full-time commitment for several months or more, paying anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to live in India and Rwanda, to $50,000 or more for domestic fellowships. Most qualify for federal student loan deferrals, and some have provisions for partial or full student loan forgiveness, along with other educational credits. Each of the programs offer direct or indirect leadership training and other benefits.
The profiled range from federal programs, like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, to opportunities with Architecture for Humanity, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, Design Corps, Design Impact, Design Trust for Public Space, Emerging Terrain, the Enterprise Rose Fellowship, MASS Design Group as part of its partnership with Global Health Corps, IDEO.org, the Loeb Fellowship, Public Policy Lab, and the Van Alen Institute. These are tremendous opportunities and we only wish there were many more of the sort.
February 9, 2012
The Public Policy Lab has issued a call for fellows to aid in work on a newly-formed partnership with Parsons The New School for Design and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). The trio are exploring “opportunities for delivering more effective, efficient, and satisfying public services and for facilitating service solutions developed by citizens.” The Public Policy Lab will select 3-5 fellows, who will be joined by one HPD staff member and expected to commit at least one day per week from March through May of this year.
The Public Policy Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping New Yorkers and all Americans build better lives by improving the delivery of public services. We provide technical assistance to help public agencies design services. By working with service designers, agencies can better understand how a public service is used and experienced by citizens and by agency staff – then apply that knowledge to create, test, and refine service-delivery improvements, at low cost and with low risk. Our goal is to help government be more efficient, while also providing services that the public will find satisfying and easy-to-use.
Click here for more information on this unique Public Policy Lab opportunity, which includes a modest honorarium and many other benefits.
December 28, 2011
Last week’s Top 10 Design Milestones of 2011, published at Archinect, highlighted advances in design for the public good by profiling leading organizations from IDEO.org and Mass Design Group to individuals like Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman. As we round out this year and usher in the next, it feels important to also look towards the future–though, of course, looking back is always easier than looking forward.
Initiatives profiled among the Top 10 of 2012 include: the TED Prize (being conferred on “The City 2.0″), Design for America, Bryan Bell’s Public Interest Design Institute training program, The 1% program of Public Architecture, Version 2.0 of NCARB’s Intern Development Program, Design Like You Give a Damn 2, Studio-H (the documentary), Archiculture (the film), “Spontaneous Interventions” at the Venice Biennale, and Public Policy Lab, as well as Worldchanging and Next America City as bonuses.
Click here to read the “Top 10 Design Initiatives to Watch in 2012″ on Archinect.
December 13, 2011
In preparing our earlier posts about Public Policy Lab and the Service Design Repository, we came across a related effort, called Service Design Tools. The site is dated 2009 and it appears to be the thesis work of student from the Politecnico de Milano in Italy, but still full of information.
Click here to access Service Design Tools.
December 13, 2011
The is the first of three related posts, starting with a profile of an organization just brought to our attention: Public Policy Lab. The above screenshot of their homepage summarizes their work–”committed to the more effective delivery of public services”–but we encourage you to explore their website and frequent “Policy x Design” blog postings as well. This description of their “How We Help” text caught our attention in particular:
We examine how policy goals and public services can be assessed through the experience of their users. We identify best practices from the design professions that can bring value to the public sector. And then we directly engage with government leaders and designers in projects to improve service delivery.
Click here to learn more about Public Policy Lab, and stay tuned for two related posts.