Infield by Linda Tegg (2020), growing outside the ArkDes building

Public agencies for public questions, and systemically working in the gaps: the ArkDes case

On the role of design-led agencies that can work as cement between bricks, allowing systemic responses to systemic challenges, and in particular the case of ArkDes within Sweden’s research and innovation landscape

In this diagram from Designing Missions, the ‘blob’ in (3) indicates the territory of the project, mapping onto the connected sub-systems implicit in the mission irrespective of the government’s structure, as well as suggesting the collective organisation—the mission team—and the potential form of a new agency or organisation, working in the gaps.
The lovely Camionette food truck in Helsinki instantly revealed the silos within Helsinki’s governance. it required a new organisational form and culture that might map onto the various systems it intrinsically embodied. Diagram by Bryan Boyer, unpacked here.
Spread from Designing Missions, indicating how the missions encompass numerous systems

ArkDes as an agency for questions

Images from Kiruna Forever, ArkDes (2020)
Project meeting for Street Moves, hosted and facilitated by ArkDes in summer 2021, featuring representatives from Volvo Cars, ArkDes ThinkTank and Lundberg Design. Photo by the author.

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Dan Hill

Designer, urbanist, etc. Director of Melbourne School of Design. Previously, Swedish gov, Arup, UCL IIPP, Fabrica, Helsinki Design Lab, BBC etc