Design and Innovation for People who Care About Cities

Sometimes there is no space to be designed, no brief, and not yet a confident articulation of the challenge. Sometimes you only have clues. Our Civic Futures practice focuses on these early stage projects.

We apply a mix of strategic design and futures methods to reframe the challenge, develop a wide range of possible design responses, and bring those possibilities to life. Our approach builds on Dash Marshall co-founder Bryan Boyer’s previous work at Helsinki Design Lab, a public sector innovation facility that was among the first of its kind.

In our Civic Futures work we believe that technology and society are equally important forces for change. We have the background and skills to understand both.

We recognize that civil society, the cultural sector, business, and government all have a role in shaping everyday life. Cities are not experienced as silos and systemic change rarely happens without broad collaboration, so we seek ideas that pierce the silos of industrial society.

ideas that cut across silos and between institutions

All of our work is concerned with societal impacts and how they connect to individual experiences. We use human centered methods to understand individual needs and systems design methods to find opportunities for large-scale impact. The tradeoffs between these different scales define civic life.

On different timelines and at different scales

We seek to understand which changes can happen quickly, which changes need to happen slowly, and the useful links between these different rates of change.

Created with a network of people we trust and respect

We thrive as a network. For each project we source a team comprised of seasoned talent that we know and trust. This network includes Bits and Atoms (US), Might Could (US), Push the Red Button (US), Justin W. Cook (US), Snowcone and Haystack (FI), TwoPoints (DE), Re:Public (JP).

The outputs of our work are highly visual documents, films, or experiences that bring the future to life. We create strategy you can see.