Design That Makes a Difference: People-centred Projects from Norway and the UK
Gheerawo was lead curator on the exhibition ‘Design that Makes a Difference’, which was funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in the UK. The exhibition presented 20 inclusive design projects from the UK and Norway including Gov.uk, BT, Nestle, Scandic Hotels and the Olympic Park. It built on the ideas from Gheerawo and Eikhaug’s book, Innovating with People: The Business of Inclusive Design (2010; Gheerawo REF Output 1) and crystallised Gheerawo’s focus as a researcher on knowledge exchange in inclusive design for business, explaining techniques in the field to a broader commercial and public audience.
The research element of the exhibition investigated how inclusive design thinking is used in current innovation processes of Norwegian and British organisations. The curators assessed the effectiveness of the outcomes, which included trains, hotels, voting systems and neighbourhood initiatives, and arranged them in three themes: Business-driven, Public-facing and Community-led.
The exhibition opening was preceded by an academic seminar which featured case studies from the UK and Norwegian governments. It was widely covered through social media and press, resulting in an invitation to display the exhibition at the University of Cambridge and at City Hall, by invitation of the Mayor of London’s Office (both 2013), and it travelled to Norway in 2014. The work drew on a number of publications detailing research with industry that involved Gheerawo as editor (Living in the Community, for Kingwood Trust; Metricity, for an architectural consortium). Several public-facing publications by Gheerawo laid the groundwork for the exhibition: 'The designer as ethnographer: Practical projects from industry' in Design Anthropology: Object Culture in the 21st Century (2010); Volume magazine’s special edition on ageing, On the Edges of Ageing (2011); and book chapter ‘The designer’s tale’ in The New Millennium Tales (2011).