Typical design approaches such as facilitating cross-disciplinary and organizational conversations, prototyping as a proof of concept, and visualization as a tool to increase understanding and uptake are very valuable. Often, regulation has a stranglehold on innovative thinking, as stakeholders may be frustrated after previous efforts have been deemed unfeasible or too far outside the regulatory framework. This is where designers, as unconnected third parties, can bring enthusiasm, energy, and a “what if” mentality into the equation. The ability to inspire, disrupt, and convince through proof—and help others to do the same—makes design a key differentiator in what may be considered to be intractable problems.
Dan Watson draws from firsthand examples from his work on the SafetyNet Project and as lead designer at the Satellite Applications Catapult to illustrate case studies from a range of interactions, exploring bottom-up and top-down approaches, technology as a catalyst for regulatory reform, and the importance of giving stakeholders a platform from which to contribute to that reformation process.
Dan Watson is a designer who enjoys working across a broad range of fields. He currently works as design lead at the Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK-government-funded independent body with a focus on growing the UK space economy. He also runs his own tech startup, SafetyNet Technologies, a London-based organization focused on making commercial fishing practices smarter and more sustainable. He once taught a four-ton robot how to dance with Carlos Acosta on the stage of the Royal Opera House in London.
Dan studied design and engineering at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College, the Glasgow School of Art, and Glasgow University. In 2012, he was the global winner of the James Dyson Award and has received a number of further awards since, including being named as a top Briton of 2012 by the Telegraph and Observer newspapers.
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