About 


Design Economy 2021




June / 2021
Designing ways to support each other and change-makers in small communities︎
︎Identity / Website / Layout / Illustration / Digital and Print
Design Council



Design, differently brings together inspirational community organisers to design new ways to support each other, share learning and solve problems. The project aims to help change-makers achieve more across their communities, particularly during the most challenging of times. It is run by Design Council and supported the Emerging Futures Fund, part of the National Lottery Community Fund, and Local Trust.









A programme of interactive online sessions were hosted to learn about challenges and participate in creative conversations provided through the design of a blended ‘digital and physical’ space. The anchor piece of these interactive online sessions was the creation of a ‘special session pack’, a physical pack delivered to each of the participants across the three sessions which provided hard copies of digital materials, hand held prompts, inspirational items and supporting objects such as a disposable camera and a participant guidebook. The design of this toolkit aimed to create feelings of connection and community between people from all four corners of the UK, in a digital world. 



social media assets for Design, differently.




Through initial research, we found change-makers recognised the real benefits to digital spaces, but fundamentally lacked the fun that was such an important part of pre-Covid ways of coming together. With this in mind, for Design, differently we designed a programme of interactive online sessions to encourage a more actively participatory and memorable experience, with opportunities to share important ideas, learn about challenges and participate in creative conversations provided through the design of a blended ‘digital and physical’ space.

The anchor piece of these interactive online sessions was the creation of a ‘special session pack’, a physical pack delivered to each of the participants across the UK. The design of the special session pack was multi-purpose. Firstly, using resources to create physical tools for participants was a way to mitigate, as much as possible, barriers to digital and a way of opening up collaborative, rather than extractive, conversations. Providing a wide range of tools in the pack allowed for the sessions to be planned and choreographed but also flexible — open to changing approaches in the moment, if this is what felt right.




Highlights from the Design, differently
special session pack included:
  • An illustrated ‘participant guide’ to the interactive online sessions so that participants knew what to expect in advance.
  • A ‘conversation menu’, created in collaboration with social broadcasts, to help every participant to have a chance to speak up and be heard.
  • A disposable camera to allow participants to record, return and share the story of their community.
  • A printed suite of useful ‘design thinking’ tools to be used at a later date at their own convenience as a way to continue the work from the sessions independently.
  • A few squares of ethically sourced chocolate… to provide some workshop sustenance!













Following the sessions, a microsite was created to share insights and learning on how to push the themes forward, please visit design-differently.com to view entirely. Design, differently is currently being funded for its next phase.

Mark