GIVING VOICE  
DESIGN RESEARCH FILMS

4 WEEK PROJECT

In November 2014 we worked in collaboration with The Institute of Design Innovation and The Scottish Government to design a programme of design-led activities and resources for the annual Scottish Leaders Forum (SLF). The SLF is a network of executive leaders at the heart of public services in Scotland working on important policy issues that face Scotland. The annual SLF Plenary event held in November 2014 hosted 160 SLF members, and looked to address three major challenges for Scotland. These were: Transforming Public Services, Growing the Economy and Tackling Inequality. 

In the lead up to the event we were asked to produce three films to capture the voices of everyday citizens who are challenged by inequality in society, and the role that charities and third sector organisations are playing in providing support services to their communities. This films were an integral part of the conference design, they aimed to inspire and energise delegates who were tasked with generating actions to take forward in order to create change in society. 

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The Challenge

The timeframe for this project was very tight, with only three weeks to establish a visual language and narrative, locate participants who were willing to be interviewed and filmed, and finally produce the films. Further to this we develop an exhibition of materials relating to the community engagement work to be displayed at the Scottish Leaders Forum.

Our Approach

As a starting point for this project we devised an aim: to make the invisible [voices] visible. We developed this aim into a visual metaphor: Kites in flight make the wind visible. Following this we created a series of kite themed engagement tools, and deployed these at design interventions held in various locations across Scotland. During these interventions members of the public were asked to respond to three questions focused around what could make Scotland flourish. The response to these questions were written on the tails of the kites.

The Outcomes

For this project we delivered three films, an exhibition of engagement materials, and an official report. Following the engagement process, the kites were used as exhibition materials for the 2014 Scottish Leaders Forum, and the visual theme was carried through the design of the whole conference, featuring in the delegate packs, in the way-finding visuals, and through the follow up report.

The three films were screened at the 2014 SLF event providing delegates with insights into innovative approaches to tackling inequality developed by third sector organisations. The films were praised by the former Permanent Secretary Sir Peter Housden as an innovative way of capturing the heart of the community.

Giving Voice: Fuse Youth Cafe
Fuse Youth Cafe is a charity working in East Glasgow providing a variety of services, from drop in youth groups, to professional development to young people in the area.

Giving Voice: Theatre Nemo
Theatre Nemo is a charity set up in 1998 to give voice to social issues, especially mental health. They work with people in hospitals and prisons, and citizens returning to society engaging with them through the creative arts.

Giving Voice: Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap is a charity based in the Gorbals area of Glasgow working with young people, families and people from different backgrounds and cultures.


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'THESE PROJECTS, SO SIMPLE IN SOME WAYS, SHOULD REMING US ALL HOW HUMAN DIGNITIY IS MAINTAINED THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN SOCIETY AND THROUGH THE CONNECTIONS WE HAVE WITH ONE ANOTHER AS HUMAN BEINGS'.

Luska Jerdin, Head of Equality Strategy, The Scottish Government