Since Uscreates joined the FutureGov family, we’ve spent time reflecting on our values and started thinking about how these are shared across our combined team. An organisation’s values help shape its attitude and mindsets. Unsurprisingly, many of our values are related to the attitudes and mindsets needed for design; including getting our hands dirty, staying curious and embracing ambiguity. Practicing these values in the work we do helps facilitate collaboration, encourage personal leadership and stretch our creative ambition on projects.
For the past eight months, we’ve been working with Bloomberg Philanthropies as design partners on their Mayors Challenge programme. We’ve been telling the story of 35 cities across the USA as they use the power of design and prototyping to tackle some of their most complex challenges. The project brought to life some of these shared values and ensured that creativity remains at the heart of our work.
Get your hands dirty and try new things
We encourage the organisations we work with to step out of their comfort zone, roll up their sleeves and work in new ways. This can be as simple as sketching a half-baked idea and putting it in front of other teams to get feedback. It’s a vulnerable feeling to work through a new challenge for the first time, but starting small, testing and learning can make it feel a lot easier.
This is what our team did when designing an exhibition for CityLab, the global annual summit where we would showcase our work with Bloomberg in front of mayors, city innovators, urban experts, artists, and activists, working to address the most important urban issues happening today. In the months leading up to the summit, our studio became our workshop, where we printed and assembled exhibition mockups to quickly work out sizing and layouts.