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Experience based Co-design and Healthcare Improvement: Realizing Participatory design in the Public Sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-248
Number of pages22
JournalThe Design Journal
Issue number2
PublishedJun 2015


  • Design_Journal_paper_final

    Design_Journal_paper_final.pdf, 598 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:14 Dec 2015

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors


Over the last decade, growing attention has been paid to the potential value of design theory and practice in improving public services. Experience-based Co-design (EBCD) is a participatory research approach that draws upon design tools and ways of thinking in order to bring healthcare staff and patients together to improve the quality of care. The co-design process that is integral to EBCD is powerful but also challenging, as it requires both staff and patients to renegotiate their roles and expectations as part of a reconfiguration of the relationships of power between citizens and public services. In this paper, we reflect upon the implementation and adaptation of EBCD in a variety of projects and on the challenges of co-design work within healthcare settings. Our discussion aims to contribute to the growing field of service design and to encourage further research into how co-design processes shape – and are shaped by – the power relations that characterize contemporary public services.

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