Challenges and issues in designing for public services (French—live translation available)

The transformative power of design has seen a rise in demand in the sphere of public action in recent years. Design’s creative and collaborative approaches can bring original and integrated solutions that improve public sector services. As such, service design has been hailed as a generative approach that could help re-focus public sector projects on the citizen, while organizing, scheduling, and producing solutions that align with the individuals’ and organizations’ desire for change. Given the enthusiasm surrounding these methods, this presentation reflects on the challenges faced by the designer in orienting, influencing, and pivoting public policies in favour of the common good.


Caroline Gagnon, Laval University

Associate Professor at Laval University School of Design (École de design de l’Université Laval) and Director of the Product Design program since 2014, Caroline Gagnon specializes in social and regional factors in large public infrastructure projects. Her interests lie more generally in the role of innovation of design and its practice as it relates to social and public issues. Prior to her role at Laval University, she taught industrial design and urban planning/architecture at l’Université de Montréal, and was a researcher for the Chair of Landscape and Environment. In 2017 she co-directed an issue of the journal Sciences du design (PUF) on design and public innovation with Thomas Waltkins.