A debut to remember at the London Design Festival | PDD

A debut to remember at the London Design Festival


on October 2 2012

With the London Design Festival fast approaching, we wondered whether we could provide a little taster of our 2-day Human-Centred Design workshop in only 90-minutes. There was only one way to find out.

Although Human-Centred Design (designing for the needs and contexts of people) is daily practice for us at PDD, for many people it’s an intriguing unknown. A few years ago, we partnered with our friends at the LUMA Institute to teach organisations some of the most useful and valuable Human-Centred Design (HCD) methods. Normally we teach HCD as part of a highly interactive, hands-on, 2-day workshop. With the London Design Festival on the horizon, we wondered whether we could provide a little taster of the 2-day workshop in 90-minutes. Here’s how we did it.

Step 1: Find a venue. Our first foray into London Design Week began in a small gallery space on Redchurch Street.

Step 2: Transform it into an inviting, invigorating space with help from our intrepid Marketing and Business Development team (as well as one of the guys from our Development Centre who helped lay bright red vinyl flooring until 4am the night before!).

Step 3: Design the course. A key challenge was deciding what would be most useful to say and do in 90-minutes that would still give the flavour of the 2-day workshop.

Step 4: Teach! We taught 3 workshops in 2 days for more than 30 people. It was intense but fun, and we got an opportunity to meet interesting people from a range of organisations including Transport for London, Brompton Bikes, Hitachi, the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Enabled by Design.

Step 5: Celebrate! Even our MD pitched in, organising the refreshments for the drinks reception.

We had so much fun we’re going to do it again next year. But we’ll make sure we build on some lessons learned…

Anything not bolted down on a Shoreditch street at night is viewed as free. We hope our “make things better” poster has found a good home. 

In less than 15 minutes, strangers working together can generate good (and often amusing) solutions to a problem.

Laying vinyl flooring takes longer than you expect.

Once the creative juices start flowing, you don’t want to kerb them too much. But that meant our 90-minute sessions went for more than 2 hours!

You can never have too many post-it notes.

And finally, it’s amazing how many people show up when free alcohol is involved…