I asked the President for an internship in design

This article is an English translation of this one.

I strongly believe in the power of design inside a government, so I asked the French president for an internship. Here is my application:

Dear President,

I am a student at EnsAD, a French design school in Paris. I am writing to you because I would like to do a design internship in your government.

I am studying Product Design, which means that I am learning to understand people, in order to build products that meet their exact needs and expectations.

This internship request may seem unusual because I never studied politics, social science or economy. But I think it makes a lot of sense and I strongly believe there is a shortage of designers in the government. Let me explain why.

Design puts the users at the heart of the analysis to develop and improve new products, new services, and new processes. Design methodologies teach us something essential: to identify and respond to a problem, it is necessary to engage as much diversity as possible. Diversity brings wealth and designers can merge ideas together and build tangible, innovative and operational solutions.

If Design becomes political, it puts the citizens in the center and creates social innovation. Would it not be the goal of our modern democracies? Should not our democracies listen to the citizens’ needs and build adequate responses together? Designers offer a lot of disruptive solutions that work; I think it’s a shame that these innovations only exist in private companies.

If the idea of having designers in your government still seems unusual, you should know that many countries have already done so.

Since 2010, the British government has been having designers using a user-centric approach to help government and public services work better and save money. This small team has changed the way public services work and how citizens use it.

The Mind Lab is an innovative unit of the Danish government. Their job is to integrate citizens and businesses in the development of new solutions for public services.

I really think it’s time to stop denying reality. The digital transition has increased the gap between decision-makers and citizens. The multiplication of economic, politic and social actions coming from below disturbs the decision makers. Digital revolution highlights people who are not a product of the system and who struggle to be recognized as individuals. Digital is changing the system and it’s time for the government to open up.

I look forward to a successful working relationship in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Florent Lenormand
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