Touching the State
RED was a UK initiative that was operational between 2004 and 2006. It was set up by the Design Council in the UK, to tackle public policy, social, and economic issues through design-driven innovation. Its themes included health, aging, energy, democracy, and — of interest to this project — Citizenship. They summarize their initiative as follows:
RED collaborated with the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) to identify some of the major opportunities for redesigning these experiences. Over eight weeks in 2004, we tracked the experiences of nine citizens as they participated in jury service, the new UK citizenship ceremony, and the run up to the European elections.
Experts from a variety of fields including design, policy, social sciences, media, commerce and academia took part in creative workshops, looking at the ways that design mediates the most important encounters between our state and citizens. A challenge was set to the wider international design community to redesign state-citizen encounters. The project culminated in a magazine-style publication, Touching the State, which was launched with a debate held at Portcullis House.
After the design research concluded, Red published the report Touching the State, elaborating on their findings, and published its main User Research findings in a powerpoint rich with images and observations.