Last week our teams kicked-off Stage Two of the Knee High Design Challenge and in the spirit of it all, we turned one of our meeting rooms into a crèche. We baby proofed the room and at one point CBeebies was even streaming through the wall-mounted screen.


The teams were introduced to Sean Miller, a designer and a member of the Knee High Advisory Board. Sean walked them through a service mapping exercise, then each team began to explore different ways in which families would: discover, engage, first use, continue to use and then leave or advocate their service. We felt this was an important exercise, as it helped the teams develop a much more in-depth outline of how their service will work, and where the numerous different touch-points are.

We also began discussing with Ingrid Melvaer (Research Associate at the Design Council) and Ed Gardiner (Behavioural Design Lead at Warwick Business School and the Design Council), planning research and evaluation strategies for the next few months. We have asked each team to start looking at setting up tests and experiments to see whether their concept will have the impact they think it will have.

The day was also about highlighting areas the teams feel they have gaps in their knowledge, skills or experience. We will then work to fill those gaps, be that by helping them build their networks locally within Southwark and Lambeth, arranging a meeting a designer mentor or finding an appropriate partner organisation.

16th_tracey talking

The day was interrupted by a cake break, and teams split to rehearse their fast paced Petcha Kutcha presentations.

The evening bought with it 50 guests all with an interest in this work. Some of whom were of the 190 that had applied to the Call for Ideas in the summer. It is really encouraging to see such a constructive attitude and willingness to learn and be involved in other ways. Other evening visitors included Southwark and Lambeth Council representatives including transport policy and public health, young designers and journalists.

petchakutcha emily

They listened to each team deliver their pitches of 10 slides timed to 20 seconds each. A speaker from each team whizzed through their idea, what problem they are trying to solve, long term aims, plans for the coming months, strengths and weaknesses, what may go wrong and areas they would like support.


No sooner had the final applause finished, the wine was poured and we shared a couple of hours together offering insights and enthusiasm. Some really great practical conversations were sparked and hopefully some new working relationships have been ignited.

If you weren’t able to join us on Thursday, but are interested in working with one of the teams, or sharing your insights, please do get in touch.