News - 21 September 2021

UNSx Host Experience Design Masterclass at Service Design Days in Barcelona

UNStudio’s in-house innovation think tank and experience lab, UNSx, held a masterclass on designing shared urban experiences at the 2021 Service Design Days conference in Barcelona.

In a co-creative masterclass, UNStudio’s experience lab, UNSx, invited participants to explore questions around inclusivity in cities and how we can design meaningful, everyday experiences on an urban scale.

Filippo Lodi, an Associate Director at UNStudio, and Beata Giermasinska, Creative Strategist, led the masterclass, which focused on mapping the values that cities provide for individuals, society, the planet and businesses.

Participants worked in four groups to discuss the needs of families in specific locations (Dallas, Mexico City, Riyadh, Amsterdam) and the challenges they face related to urban environments and services.

The groups explored values that are absent or in surplus, and looked for overall value maps to find links between opportunities for elevating individual, societal and business assets.

The main lesson was to find a shared value opportunity, where individuals, society and real estate can benefit from introducing new services and experiences (a win-win-win situation). The participants learned to find links between the different scales of the ecosystem and design for shared value.

The class also considered changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As lockdowns ease, the legacy of the coronavirus — and the changes it has inspired in urban spaces— highlights the need for cities to adapt to this new reality,” said Lodi.

“To embrace new perspectives, cities need to embrace a holistic approach that bridges business, technology and social values.”

During the session, Lodi and Giermasinska shared UNSX’s approach to designing for the shared value, which centres on removing hurdles that can hinder creative initiatives.

“In the times where cities and societies are challenged by rapid social, economic, environmental shifts, we need strategic approach that allows real estate/architecture discipline to think beyond buildings and innovate,” said Giermasinska. “Thinking about shared value allows us to create benefits for all levels in the urban system. Knowing this, our team at UNSx has developed tools and processes that allow for the potential of shared value to be unlocked.”

The participants ranged from policy makers, strategists, designers, architects and consultants that are involved in topics related to smart cities.

The masterclass was held as part of Service Design Days in Barcelona, which is a cross-boundary, transdisciplinary conference for forward-thinkers and change-makers. It focuses on human-centred design and connects strategic designers with business strategists and many other problem-solving minds.

You can find out more about UNSx here.

Photos: UNStudio