Ex-Red boss behind launch of Participle

Hilary Cottam, former director of the Design Council’s Red unit, has revealed that her next venture will be called Participle. It will launch a ‘major’ London-focused project this autumn.

Hilary Cottam, former director of the Design Council’s Red unit, has revealed that her next venture will be called Participle. It will launch a ‘major’ London-focused project this autumn.


Participle aims to bring together public and private organisations, citizens and designers to develop solutions to what Cottam describes as the ‘intractable social issues of the 21st century’. Its ‘transformative’ programmes may create new services, or may offer more ‘intangible’ approaches to social problems, she says.


The launch project is public/ private funded and will address ‘a big problem area’ for London, although Cottam declines to reveal further details.


Participle is being co-founded with strategic consultant Charles Leadbeater and former head of Ideo London, Colin Burns. Former Red senior design strategist Jennie Winhall is also on the team.

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