Co-design cannot work without a bit of co-production, too

Your recent poll on the merits of co-design (News, DW 14 January) reveals a split decision on whether it’s a good thing or not.

From a creative perspective, the more brains the better, and from a focus group viewpoint, feedback from the target group is invaluable, so multiplying the range and quality of thoughts can only be a good thing.

I suspect the doubters exist on the more practical side of the fence. Design consultancies are probably wondering how time is built in to the process, how they get paid for other people’s input, whether it can fit into a retainer or if it’s billable, particularly where work is discarded, and how can such an approach be managed to meet deadlines.

Co-production is where the ideal starts to misfire. Perhaps the model for co-design needs to include co-production from the start, so that all parties work collectively, but within specific parameters to ensure the output is not only improved in terms of creative, but also in terms of delivery of the end product.

Steve Turnsek, Managing director, TSL, by e-mail

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