The introduction of design to policymaking: Policy Lab and the UK government

Jocelyn Bailey, Peter Lloyd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


The use of design within government institutions is a rapidly accelerating trend of global dimensions. The emergent nature of these design practices, and cultures, raises questions about what exactly is happening in the interactions between design and political institutions, and how that might be understood in broader socio-economic and political terms. This paper reports on a series of interviews with senior level civil servants working in UK central government, all of whom have had some exposure to design methods and techniques through interaction with the UK Policy Lab. The paper sets out the ways in which the epistemology and practices of design, as introduced through Policy Lab, both expose and challenge those of the political institutions and policy professionals they seek to change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages1627
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2016
EventDesign + Research + Society - Future–Focused Thinking: 50th Anniversary Conference of the Design Research Society - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of DRS


ConferenceDesign + Research + Society - Future–Focused Thinking
Abbreviated titleDRS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License.


  • Design
  • design thinking
  • policymaking
  • politics


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