Design for Climate Services: A Co-Design Approach

Mel Woods (Lead / Corresponding author), Raquel Ajates Gonzalez, Sarah Bromley, Drew Hemment, George Konsta

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Droughts, floods and other climate-related hazards present critical challenges for communities across the world. Design is well placed to respond to such wicked problems (Buchanan, 1992) however a user-led to the development of climate services is rare (Christel et al, 2017). Instead, scientists and governments rely on research and innovation between science and industry to develop climate services for early warning systems and decision-making. In citizens observatories (CO) we see new developments in social innovation where citizens and communities are gathering environmental data on issues that matter to them and innovating with it (Schartinger et al, 2017). Many of these projects are driven by design thinking and methods that support action orientated outcomes for communities to transform these matters of concern themselves (Woods et al, 2018). We propose large scale climate services can be developed in collaboration with citizens whose livelihoods and communities are affected by extreme events, such as forest fires, drought and flooding. The design community is uniquely placed to contribute to such developments, particularly where citizens are themselves at the forefront of change-making.

This workshop introduced delegates to the concept of Citizens’ Observatories (COs), and, moreover, the GROW Observatory and its communities across Europe, who are monitoring soil in real time across a range of geographic and climatic areas. The purpose of the workshop was threefold:
1. To test and reflect on assets and materials currently in development for a CO Toolkit.
2. To ideate services that enable other researchers and practitioners to better understand climate service innovation.
3. To present climate scenarios and data from real communities facing critical environmental challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAcademy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transormations - Loughborough University London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


WorkshopAcademy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Climate Services
  • Co-Design Approach


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