"How and where do we ‘touch the State’? When do we become citizens rather than members of the general public? And when we encounter the State as citizens, how does the nature of that interaction – the way it is choreographed, communicated, shaped, scripted, designed – affect our sense of citizenship?"
from "Touching the State" UK Design Council report
available as a .pdf (5.5mb) here.
The UK Design Council through their unit RED is taking "a proactive approach to solving problems and developing new concepts and processes for change... to provoke, stimulate, surprise and deliver, within a context that puts people first and is based in the real world."
One of their projects is Touching the State which looks "at the role of design in mediating and defining the relationship between the State and citizens." They ask "can these encounters be designed differently to increase engagement and a sense of citizenship?"
Essentially they are employing the tools of design (i.e. -looking through the eyes of the user; making the invisible visible and the intangible tangible; rapid prototyping and modeling) to rethink the way we interact with the State -even the processes of the state.
I am a firm believer in benefits of good design (and I am not referring the to glossy magazine conception of aesthetics and style -i mean it as a discipline and a way of thinking.) It would be interesting if we could have a similar project back home. If anything we Filipinos stand out in the region for our creativity -we could design (and redesign) some very innovative approaches to government and governance.