What's happening

2 Apr 2019

Future Mobility Services for Social Benefit

Loughborough Design School’s MA UX (User Experience Design) students have been showcasing their service design projects at an outward facing community event.

As part their Service Design for Social Innovation module, the students were set a brief by the Ford Fund to address Sustainable Urban Solutions for Future Cities. The Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge is a grant-making initiative designed to empower students at higher education organisations to bring about change through innovative, creative projects that aim to make people’s lives better and help address social challenges, in this case, by shaping the way people live and move with their urban communities.

The students have been working on their solutions in groups, and consulting with local community groups and councils, to co-design realistic solutions to everyday daily mobility issues. The projects are diverse and include getting intoxicated students home safely, making the school run easier and helping aging people maintain their gardens for longer, amongst others.

Commenting on the calibre of the projects, course tutor Stuart Cockbill stated:

“For many students, this is their first live project experience that actively engages them with community group members, organisations and local councils first-hand. In it’s new 8-week format, it is fast-paced, intensive and challenging, yet highly rewarding. Every year the standard rises, and we are increasingly impressed with the results.

He added,

The students have been committed, engaged and enthusiastic throughout and have shown dedication in every aspect – from engaging in all of the taught sessions through to continually and actively engaging with local community members and stakeholders. The standard of the design outcomes is clearly a result of this dedication and hard work”

Presenting their designs at a local community centre to their peers, tutors, members of the local community and representatives from Leicestershire County Council, the students saw first-hand the reaction to their ideas. Working closely with the local council and community groups such as John Storer House has been an interesting opportunity for the students to get feedback from key service providers who are interested in best practice community involvement.

Noel Singh from the Communities, Policy & Resilience Service at Leicestershire County Council has been involved in supporting the students to develop their project proposals.

Noel said, “This has been a really interesting and insightful exercise to have been involved in. The students have obviously learned a lot in a short space of time and have clearly applied their learning successfully to enable their initial project ideas to evolve into more detailed proposals. I am really pleased that my colleagues and I have been able to support the University with this exciting project. It’s been a great experience working with the students and we feel thoroughly inspired by seeing what they have achieved.”

The council have also invited the students to present their work at the council chambers.

Videos of the presentations are available here