Public Collaboration Lab is a design led collaborative action research project and prototype, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Over a year the project explores the potential and the value of a strategic collaboration between a local authority and a design university to innovating public services and policymaking. London Borough of Camden (LBC) and University of the Arts London (UAL) are working together to find synergies between local government’s operational objectives and design education’s learning objectives, creating and delivering a portfolio of ‘live’ collaborative design projects that variously deliver engagement and consultation, raise awareness and change behaviours, or redefine and redesign ways of developing and delivering services. These approaches embrace staff and students, as well as societal resources and the public context as a learning environment.
Facing new challenges, in a time of uncertainty and austerity, we need de-risked spaces for experimentation where we can work together, pooling knowledge and resources and where we can learn together by doing together.