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Session Overview
w1.476: Workshop
Wednesday, 19/Jun/2019:
4:00pm - 5:40pm

Location: LDN.0.17 & 0.18
Ground floor Loughborough University London 60 capacity

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4:00pm - 5:40pm

Design for Climate Services: A Co-Design Approach

Melanie Woods1, Drew Hemment2, Raquel Ajates Gonzalez1, George Konsta3

1University of Dundee, United Kingdom; 2Edinburgh University, United Kingdom; 3FutureEverything, United Kingdom

Droughts, floods and other climate-related hazards present critical challenges for communities across the world. Design is well placed to respond to such wicked problems (Buchanan, 1992) however a user-led to the development of climate services is rare (Christel et al, 2017). Instead, scientists and governments rely on research and innovation between science and industry to develop climate services for early warning systems and decision-making. In citizens observatories (CO) we see new developments in social innovation where citizens and communities are gathering environmental data on issues that matter to them and innovating with it (Schartinger et al, 2017). Many of these projects are driven by design thinking and methods that support action orientated outcomes for communities to transform these matters of concern themselves (Woods et al, 2018). We propose large scale climate services can be developed in collaboration with citizens whose livelihoods and communities are affected by extreme events, such as forest fires, drought and flooding. The design community is uniquely placed to contribute to such developments, particularly where citizens are themselves at the forefront of change-making.

This workshop will introduce delegates to the concept of Citizens Observation, and nine communities across Europe, who are currently monitoring soil in real time across a range of geographic and climatic areas. The purpose of the workshop is threefold, to present the opportunity to test and reflect on assets and materials; to ideate services to enable other researchers and practitioners to better understand climate service innovation; to present data from real communities facing critical environmental challenges.

The workshop will have three main phases 01 presentation of the Citizen Observatories and workshop aims; 02 ideation and prototype service innovation with the toolkit; 03 sharing and feedback.

01 The workshop will commence with a quick fire introduction to citizen observatories. Followed by an introduction to soil as a dataset for climate change, with an outline of critical environmental issues e.g. drought, flooding, forest fires and heatwaves. The workshop objectives will be introduced. (10 mins)

02 Participants will divide into groups around tables and be presented with a range of design assets (see Figure 1) in the form of a post it’s, pens, playful prototyping materials and a deck of cards, including:

Persona Cards - representing the concerns, motivations and livelihoods of citizens, community champions, scientists, local government and stakeholder organisations.

Place Cards - a description of place, natural assets, resilience, geographic and climate information

Data Cards – climate and environmental data relevant to the people, place and scenario

Scenarios –emerging climate related critical issue

The group will work through a series of facilitated questions using an empathy timeline (see Figure 2), to iteratively ideate conceptual ‘innovations that are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act’ in response to their scenario. They will reflect on the development of a service from a primary user perspective, but will also consider other users, and available data. (50 mins)

03 Groups will share the resulting climate services to the room. A quick feedback session will using a wall based ‘dotocracy’ – red and green dots – will gather feedback on the design cards for personas, place, data and scenario for most and least useful assets. These suggestions will be taken up for revision. (25 mins)

Takeaways for the participants

Participants will

Be introduced to toolkits that leverage design thinking into citizen science.

Gain access to unpublished research data through the personas, place and community scenario cards.

Have the opportunity to collaborate and feedback on the revision and implementation of design assets for which they will receive accreditation.

Each receive a copy of the award winning publication ‘Citizen Sensing: A Toolkit’ (see figure 3).

Strategy to capture content and results

Facilitators will capture feedback on prepared assets through presentation, discussion and ‘rating’ of assets. They will document feedback and capture images prototype service outcomes from group work.

Results and final reflections for consideration

Designers will have the opportunity to apply to attend a citizen science community gathering in 2019. There are spaces for 3 design delegates at each event.

A validated toolkit will be prepared for community uptake and reported to the design community.

Space requirements

A room with tables to host up 4 - 5 people per table


Data Projector

1 wall for placing asset ‘dotocracy’ ranking and feedback

Maximum number of participants

20 people in 5 groups of 4 people


Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked Problems in Design Thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5-21. doi:10.2307/1511637

Christel, I., Hemment, D., Bojovic, D., Cucchietti, F., Calvo, L., Stefaner, M., & Buontempo, C. (2017). Climate Services.

Schartinger, D., Wepner, B., Andersson, T., Abbas, Q., Asenova, D., Damianova, Z., ... & Schröder, A. (2017). Social Innovation in Environment and Climate Change: Summary Report.

Woods, M., Balestrini, M., Bejtullahu, S., Bocconi, S., Boerwinkel, G., Boonstra, M., ... Seiz, G. (2018). Citizen Sensing: A Toolkit. Making Sense.

Workshops-Design for Climate Services-476Woods_a.pdf

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