Policy design: a new area of design research and practice.

Johnson, Jeffrey and Cook, Matthew (2013). Policy design: a new area of design research and practice. In: Aiguier, Marc; Boulanger, Frédéric; Krob, Daniel and Clotilde, Marchal eds. Complex Systems in Design and Management. Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 51–62.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02812-5

URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319...


Policy design is a new area of inquiry that takes the methods and traditions of design into the world of social, economic and environmental policy. Even though they may not know it, policy makers are designing future worlds and implementing these designs in the hope of realising their visions of the future. However, the methods of design are different to the methods generally used in the formation and execution of policy. In design requirements coevolve with the generation and evaluation of new systems. In policy some requirements may be ideologically fixed and pre-empt good overall solutions. Assuming that policy design is indeed an important new area of design there are implications and opportunities for the design community. Since most policy makers have little formal knowledge of design, in the short term designers must engage in policy if policy-as-design is to be formulated in a designerly way. At the same time there is a need to educate policy makers in the theory and practice of design. The combination of research, applications, computer aided policy design, and design education in policy design creates great opportunities for the design community. When policy makers address their policy design task as designers, we can expect better policies with better outcomes.

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