Experiences from Living Lab the Neighbourhood – MEDEA

PastedGraphic-2Experiences from Living Lab the Neigbourhood – MEDEA

(Abstract of the keynote speach, 26.05.2016)

This keynote will focus on Urban Labs and their potential role to address societal challenges. Central for the talk will be the practical experiences and theoretical implication of Living Lab the Neigbourhood that has been a platform for co-design, social innovation and urban development at Malmö University since 2009. Several concrete cases of design work will be brought forward that cover everything from engagements with immigrant grass-roots initiatives to public sector collaborations and large European projects that all in different ways explore what might be the boundaries of an Urban Lab. Although the notion of “design thinking” has opened many doors for experimental approaches, not at least in the public sector, the cases presented will be used to discuss and challenge many common and taken for granted concepts, practices, and structures relating to labs, design- and innovation projects. Some of the issues and questions that will be addressed are: What do we mean with participation or cross sector collaboration? How can we challenge the limitations of the “design project” as such and move towards longer and more open-ended formats of collaboration? What kind of value production do we engage in? How can we embrace diversity, controversies and opposing perspectives in our prototyping engagements? How can we combine small-scale experimentation and design interventions with inquiries into more systemic levels in society by trying to modify regulations, work procedures and cultures, public policy and indicators of project success? Most importantly, the talk will focus on how we continuously can push the boundaries of what might constitute a truly inclusive and democratic platform for experimentation and systemic learning in urban contexts.