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Team update/ Pop up Parks

We need to design in opportunities for active child-led outdoor play before it disappears completely According to the National Trust, since the 1970s the area in which children roam without adults has decreased by almost 90%. Having worked over the past year with communities in densely populated areas of London, it comes as no surprise.…

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Team update/ Creative Homes

Following the excitement of reaching the final round of the Knee High Design Challenge and officially launching Creative Homes as a business, we’ve spent the past few months in preparation for the year ahead. For us this means building our small team to include two important new members: we’ve recruited a brilliant intern to join…

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Team update/ KidsConnect

Today I went to NEF Consulting (part of the New Economics Foundation) to talk to Rosie and Sarah, and Jane from Narativ, about how we’re going to measure the impact of KidsConnect over the coming year. This is something we thought a lot about during the Knee High Design Challenge competition but it’s great to…

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All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood

Following the Dad Design Challenge, where I worked as the project lead, I was asked to share insights and my experiences at the recent All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Fatherhood. I had heard of the ‘APPGs’ before but I didn’t know who was involved, why they happened, or what value they have. I was…

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Team update/ KidsConnect goes live

Since late November now KidsConnect has been out there in the real world being used by actual parents to find activities and services for their under fives in Brixton and the surrounding area. Following the best principles of agile design we were keen to get our first ‘Minimum Viable Product’ into the hands of parents…

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Dad Challenge/ Cub music workshops

My goal is to get dads down to children’s spaces for example Children Centre’s or soft play areas such as crazy chimps. Spaces where dads and their children can enjoy a fun filled hour of musical madness. Many professional studies suggest that dads aren’t utilizing the services provided for them and their children, whether it’s…

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Dad Challenge/ DADDY CARD

As parents, we recognize and have experienced the difficulties fathers face in relating to and bonding with babies before birth and in the first few months after, so we were keen to investigate ways to make this time easier. We have seen that there is a lot of fantastic daddy time going on but that there are also…

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Dad Challenge/ Pizza Portraits

“I am a designer and freelance illustrator, currently nannying and living in Lambeth. I have created a workshop that I believe bridges the gaps between potential distant fathers and their children helping them to bond and connect through food. I am particularly focusing on the sensory experience that this workshop provides. Playing with food encourages…

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Dad Challenge/ Scan cards for dads

“I hope to improve bonding between dad and baby from an early stage, and enable dads to feel important from the beginning. During the Dad Challenge I have pulled together information, printed it on labels and stick them on the inside of scan photo cards that I give to dads. They have information about how their…

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Join us for a celebration

Over the past year, Design Council, in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, has suported the development of new products and services that make a real and lasting difference to children in their early years. With everything from new ways of exploring your local area and…

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Announcing the Dad Challenge teams

We’re very excited to introduce the five winning ideas from our Dad Challenge, aiming to help more dads become actively engaged in their child’s early years. We very recently launched an open call for ideas for the #DadChallenge. Although only open for a short time, we were thrilled to receive such passionate and creative ideas. So now…

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The Leapfrog Bus returns!

Recently, Leapfrog Bus had the chance to run again over the summer! Through links that were established during Stage 2 of the Knee High Design Challenge, we were commissioned to provide a series of local summer trips for three children’s centres in Southwark. Over 3 separate days in early August we ran trips from three children’s…

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Team update/ Pop up Parks

Going mobile We love having ideas but making them happen is another matter. It’s easy to think up radical new thoughts but implementing them is the real challenge. When we pitched for stage three of the Knee High Design Challenge we knew we were going to need to become more agile and mobile. We also…

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Team update/ Creative Homes

It’s been a busy few months at Creative Homes, we have been: Running a new Hub to Home programme in partnership with Lambeth Living, Crown Lane Children’s Centre, the new Hook House Community Association and a local women’s refuge. Developing our home interventions particularly the Creative Chef, the Toilet Sailor, and have just delivered our…

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Urban IxD discusses Crafty Explorers

Crafty Explorers has been discussed by Han Pham recently as part of urban IxD urbanixd.eu/conversation, a ranging discussion about how urban interaction design impacts on lives. She was asked to give some examples of everyday life situations in which urban interaction design can be more meaningful for what she terms ‘pirates’: those who get their…

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Team Update/ Pop up Parks

As a parent I am always being told: ‘your children are growing up so quickly’. The cliché is true, blink and you miss it. Someone recently remarked on how Pop up Parks is growing up quickly. Eight months ago we were simply an idea and armed with a few props and lots of enthusiasm we…

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Come along to our first Meet up & Make events…

We are helping to run some free and friendly events in Southwark and Lambeth for people who want to make good things happen in their area. We know it is sometimes tricky to feel confident enough to start something new, find people to help you or know where to get funding. Through these informal events we hope to…

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The current Knee High Design Challenge Teams

As the Knee High Design Challenge progresses into each stage, we ask more and more from each team and every time, they step up and over the mark. Since January the 11 Knee High teams have been learning how to capture to understand their impact, through observation, surveys and randomised control trials. They have been building partnerships, testing prototypes and adding more depth to their business models. Parks, sheds, shops and performances have been popping up throughout the boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth as teams have been deepening their understanding of local communities. At the start of April the selection panel and the Advisory Borad had the tough job of agreeing on six teams to take through to…

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Team update/ KidsConnect

In stage two we decided to test the demand for and impact of KidsConnect on parents and their kids. To do this as rigorously as possible we designed a randomised controlled trial (RCT) using a paper prototype of our app. At this stage of the competition we had not built the app itself. But we realised…

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Our friends at PAN studio…

…have launched a Kickstarter Campaign for their latest project: Run An Empire. Run and Empire is a smartphone game where players compete against each other to ‘capture territory’ in their local environment by running or walking around it. The game combines strategic thinking of digital and board games with the real world physical actions to make sporting…

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Review/ Good Enough Mum’s Musical

Despite that fact that the show was born out of my experience with severe postnatal depression and postnatal psychosis I am still always deeply moved whenever someone else comes to me and shares their own stories. One of my favourite thing about working on The Knee High Design Challenge has been the amount of time…

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Team update/ Pop Up Parks

Not out of the way, in the way One of the simple beauties of our Pop Up Parks is that they are so easy to use and understanding them is immediate. The key ingredient of our usability is our location: we’re not out of the way, we’re in the way. We initially thought disrupting people’s journeys could be a…

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Team update/ Creative Homes

Stage one of the Knee High Design Challenge saw us tackle deliver two very different family challenges: Routines, particularly toothbrushing Better creative use of space in the home During the first stage we created two new exciting products for families to ease their difficulties with those two challenges. A visit from the tooth fairy helped…

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Team update/ Cook and Meet

Cook and Meet is new program that supports and trains migrant parents to deliver People’s Kitchens in their local areas. The kitchens aim to build family networks, employability and integration with local services and uses food from shops and markets that would otherwise go to waste. Things have moved on a long way since our…

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Team update/ Good Enough Mums Club

We’ve had a really interesting time in Stage Two – loads of trying things out which has led to some great realisations and discoveries. One of the most interesting and rewarding activities we did was a series of Pop Up Performances around Southwark & Lambeth. The cast, complete with some of their children, met early…

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Team update/ Creative Homes

Creative Homes aims increase resilience and coping and physical activity through creative play in the family home. Our team of dedicated early years artists and designers work with families (in their own homes or at community hub locations) to identify real challenges in their lives and equip them to tackle their needs head on. Family…

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Team Update/ New Moments

In stage two of the Knee High Design Challenge, with New Moments we’ve been super busy meeting and filming mums, dads, babies (lots of twins!), grans, and sometimes, family pets! New Moments aims to promote attachment, bonding and parental self-esteem. We hope to see positive effects in the short term, on the parent-infant relationship and…

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Team Update/ Crafty Explorers

Hundreds of people have been through the doors of our Crafty Explorers pop-up shop over the last month which has allowed us to try out lots of different things. The format of Crafty Explorers is simple. Everyone is successful. Families who visit us are given a piece of clay and are challenged to turn it…

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Team update/ Leapfrog bus

So this stage of the Knee High Design Challenge has brought with it lots and lots of conversations for Leapfrog Bus. We have spoken with a range of different organisations (including big companies, local authorities, charities and academics), and most importantly, local families to help figure out what Leapfrog Bus will do to improve the…

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Team Update/ EasyPeasy

Since joining Stage 2 of the Knee High Challenge at the 11th hour, we’ve been working hard at Character Counts and Save the Children to catch up. We’ve had the chance to strengthen and develop our idea in collaboration with the Design Council and we’re massively benefiting from a new member of our team, our…

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Team Update/ Pop up Parks

Radical Innovation… at the coal face As an innovator, I hadn’t expected to find myself sweeping away broken glass and disheveled chicken bones from a neighbouring chicken shop to prepare the ground for a Pop up Park on the streets of Peckham, but radical innovation is not only about the great idea, but also about…

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Team Update/ The Dad Project

It’s widely recognised that public services do not involve, support and prepare dads as much as they could during pregnancy and the first years of a child’s life. Our influence on children’s wellbeing will always be limited if we don’t work effectively with both parents during this important time. Midwives have often been asked to…

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Team Update/ KidsConnect

Collaboration is the name of the game for us in this stage of the competition and we’re really excited to have found some amazing people to help us with the development of our app. Sarah, a young mum, is one of the users helping us validate the detailed requirements we’ve developed for the build of…

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Team Update/ Cook&Meet

After the initial excitement of getting through to Stage 2 of the Knee High Design Challenge, we have spent the first few months of 2014 developing our project idea further, forming new partnerships and preparing to test a pared-down version of the training programme with our existing group of migrant parents. In the prototyping stage,…

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The 11th team

We are delighted to announce, in the eleventh hour, an eleventh team has joined Stage Two of the Knee High Design Challenge. In December our selection panel decided which teams were to go through to Stage Two of the Challenge. They also decided to give two other teams the opportunity to develop and resubmit a refined…

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See films and photos from the funded teams

Introducing the fantastic teams that are through to Stage Two of the Knee High Design Challenge. In the time between now and March 31st 2014, each team will be working to develop a feasible business model and have proof of the impact that the idea could have on the health and wellbeing of under fives. If…

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Stage Two kicks off

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…

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Selecting the teams for Stage Two

We have been proud witness a whole range of achievements over the past couple of months; Tracey from Kids Connect, presenting un-phased to a room full of stakeholders with baby sick all down her top; Tom from Pop-up parks has been working with Nesta on their Rethinking Parks project; Plus the very creative Tea Ladies…

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Team Update/ Birthday Club

With the deadline for the next phase of the Knee High Challenge fast approaching, we thought it was a suitable time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the last 6 weeks. And what a few weeks it’s been for the team (a mix of staff from Viridian Housing and the Innovation Unit). We’ve run…

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Team Update/ Pop up Parks

It’s been an exhilarating six weeks. We have been busy thinking, creating, making, testing, listening and learning, all of which has led us to some fascinating conclusions which we are looking forward to sharing in our proposal for stage two of the Knee High Design Challenge. The team has been on a great journey beginning…

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Team update/ Welcome to Parenthood

Any new parent knows how life can radically change by the arrival of a new family member and to be honest, we both felt ready for birth, but less ready for actual parenthood! This sounds so silly now as the early days feel like a blur, as both our little boys have just turned one,…

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Team Update/ Pop Out

Pop Out is our idea is to support families in Lambeth and Southwark who lack confidence to engage with new services and visit new places and do not have social networks to turn to. We want to encourage families to make the most of what their immediate neighbourhood has to offer. We have had success…

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Team Update/ Playing Up (2)

This is a follow up post to our first Team Update blog, to share what we have been doing since. On the 27th November, we held another adult and baby creative workshop today, this time with dance! Heather and I created the workshop designed around babies’ motor skills and also the fitness and wellbeing of the…

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Team Update/ High Street Baby Festival

High Street Baby Festival is a new high-street engagement initiative for bringing families, local businesses and children’s services together. This blog will share what we have been doing, who we have been working with and some of what we have learnt through hosting a mini festival last week in Loughborough Junction. Setting up the prototyping session…

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Team Update/ Creative Homes

Anyone that knows TDLP will know that working on the Knee High Design Challenge is right up our street. We’ve been brewing up the idea of how TDLP could support families in their home for a while – this is our chance to give it a go. So we decided to work with two willing families,…

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Team Update/ App for Dads

Best Beginnings have been talking to young fathers, midwives, health visitors and social workers in Lambeth and Southwark about the idea of having a free phone app that supports fathers through pregnancy and early parenthood. The idea has been very positively received, in fact we have found that there is an even greater need for…

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Team Update/ Good Enough Mum’s Club

The Good Enough Mums Club has had a great time over the last few week prototyping and testing out our ideas for the Knee High Design Challenge. Our idea is to inspire & empower mothers to create their own informal support networks by attending a performance of our new musical The Good Enough Mums Club.…

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