D&A in world-wide design event

Release Date: 19 May 2017

Dundee joined cities across four continents for a global design event bringing together public servants, designers, business people, academics, students and service users to face a unique challenge.

Govjam article
Caron Sandeman and Prof Mike Press head off for a city safari.

D&A College Gardyne Campus was the venue for Dundee GovJam, which kicked off at 5pm on Tuesday, May 16, when more than 60 people had less than 48 hours to develop and prototype completely new public sector services inspired by a shared theme.

Dundee GovJam joined more than 40 similar events taking place across the world, with live video and social media linking cities such as Barcelona, Houston, Athens, Mumbai and Melbourne.

Supported by Dundee City Council, D&A College, the Open Change service design company and Healthcare Designed in Dundee, the Jam concludeed with world publication of a collection of brand new services.

As well as reaching across the globe, the ‘jammers’ embarked on a safari closer to home when they headed into Dundee city centre to interview members of the public directly to find out what they want in terms of services.

“We ferryied all the jammers into the city centre on Wednesday for a ‘user safari’ to discover what the public are looking for in service delivery,” explained Caron Sandeman, of D&A College.

Professor Mike Press, one of the organisers, explains how GovJam is a unique way of working:

“Like a music jam, a design jam is also about improvisation and working fast and risk free to try out new ideas and new ways of working, all while generating a buzz of excitement through connecting with other ‘jammers’ all around the globe using various social networks.

“It shows how design benefits everyone – it is a way of thinking that enables everyone to be innovative and create new ways of doing things!”

David Martin, Chief Executive Dundee City Council, endorsed the event, saying:

“Over the past year at the council we have been building our service design skills through numerous workshops in the same style as the Dundee GovJam,” explained.

“It’s a great way of bringing fresh thinking into service redesign, alongside developing new skills, knowledge and working collaboratively with others.”

A sentiment echoed by D&A College Principal Grant Ritchie who commented:

“I’m really pleased that D&A College is taking part in Dundee GovJam – a really fresh and exciting way to go about service redesign.

“We want all our services to be slick, quick and easy for our communities to access.”


Also encouraged by the event is Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, who said:


“It’s great to see Dundee as a UNESCO City of Design hosting this global event and adopting design as a means of developing better and more intuitive public services.”