9th January 2015

GeoVation camp — designing sustainable solutions to real problems


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’

– Einstein

Now that our Housing Challenge — ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ — has closed, our finalists will be preparing for GeoVation Camp in January. We thought it would be useful to revisit the design that plays such an important part in our GeoVation Camps.

If solutions to real problems are to be successfully launched and sustained, they need to be carefully designed. That means not just designing the solution but also the venture model that will sustain the solution and allow it to scale. This is why design thinking plays such an important part of our GeoVation camps. The objective of GeoVationCamps is to enable finalists to be ‘match-fit to pitch’ for GeoVation funding.

During our camps, finalists develop their ideas into prototype ventures. To support finalists’ teams in this, the camp process is facilitated by service designers who employ design thinking, techniques and processes. In addition to this we are very fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of the MDes in Service Design Innovation students from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, led by Dr Alison Prendiville, who will be on the judging panel for the Housing Challenge.

London College of Communication

We asked Alison and two of her MDes Service Design Innovation students, Aya Miura and Andrea Villareal Soberanes, who had supported us on a previous GeoVation Camps, to create a three minute film to introduce service design.

Aya Miura and Andrea Villareal Soberanes

Aya Miura and Andrea Villareal Soberanes

They did this using real world problems they were working on with Age UK Newcastle’s Kay Stevens, on developing services for ‘ageing well’ communities. Before Christmas I had the pleasure of viewing the MDes degree show, their completed projects and their service design film. We really enjoyed it. We hope you do too.