We all love the smell of a new book!


Design Transitions shares inspiring stories and global viewpoints on how design is changing. Thanks to our friend Lauren Tan, thinkpublic had the opportunity to get involved. In the book Deborah shares openly a range of stories from last 10 years of running the social design agency thinkpublic, she also talks about what the future may hold.

Its one for the Christmas list!

Get your hands on the IntergenerationAll toolkit


Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has now launched the Designing all-age friendly approaches for communities toolkit we designed. It shares learning from the IntergenerationAll Programme, which supported eighteen pilot projects in the UK and seven in Portugal. The aim of the projects was to test and implement ideas for intergenerational activities and partnerships in which beneficiaries were involved in the co-design of people-centred schemes. The projects focused primarily on bringing together people of different ages, young and old, to address areas of shared concern.

Why don’t you have a look.

Ideas to tackle isolation in old age

The After Work Club from thinkpublic on Vimeo.

We are pleased to see that The After World Club has been selected as one of the five finalists for NESTA’s Ageing Well Challenge Prize.

If you would like to get involved in the next few months and support the After Work Club, drop us a note to

thinkpublic makes Marketing Weeks top 50 agencies

It’s pretty cool to see that we made Marketing Week’s top 50 agencies this year.
Being the first Service Design specialist to make the top 50 category.
Its great to see service design starting to be recognised alongside other design disciplines.

We’re looking forward to 2013!

The After Work Club Shortlisted

Well done to Emma and Bill for getting the After Work Club shortlisted for The NESTA Ageing Well Challenge.

The Ageing Well Challenge prize is looking for innovations that can reduce the isolation and/or increase the mobility of vulnerable older people by providing new opportunities for communities to come together to give time, skills and resources.

Drop Emma and Bill a note to if you would like to get involved or sign up for our next event in January 2013.

Today I… told my story

Yesterday Consumer Focus launched the user research report we complied ‘Today I told my story – Sharing experiences of social care’.

There is a clear need for better information and greater transparency in the care sector. The social care system is complex and notoriously difficult to navigate, yet there is no single authoritative and comprehensive information source that consumers can consult to find out their options and eligibility for services. It is particularly hard to gain insight into service quality or what people actually think about the services they use.

This report presents the work we undertook to develop a bespoke concept for the sector that is mindful of these difficulties. It does not offer a complete solution, rather suggests a foundation that others can build on. It starts by introducing the concept and explains why we think the time is right for a user feedback service in the care sector.

Well done to Zoe, Tamsin, Richard and Alice who all work really hard to make the user research and report happen.

Ambulatory Emergency Care explained

Ambulatory Emergency Care from thinkpublic on Vimeo.

It’s great to see the animation being used, that’s part of the Ambulatory Emergency Care service design project we worked on for the NHS Institute.

Watch the animation to better understand how Ambulatory Emergency Care works.

Well done Ness, Chris, Sam and Abi.

The power of time off

I’ve just been watching Stefan Sagmeister’s Ted Talk on The Power of Time off, thanks to the lovely Julia from the NHS Institute who sent it to me. Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off, which I’m wondering if you can or can’t draw parallels with when you are on maternity leave?

Unleash your inner designer

IntergenerationAll from thinkpublic on Vimeo.

We love our new animation that Ella and Stassja made for The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to help people search for their inner designer. Its part of the Intergenerational work we have been doing in the UK and Portugal over the last few years.

We hope it inspires you to try something new.


Looking for thinkpublic? We’re taking a pause, as our founding director Deborah is going on maternity leave from September 2012. We’ve learnt from many of our projects with new mums and children’s services, that starting a family can be like starting a business, extremely consuming in both time and energy. Which is why we are finishing off our current projects and pausing the work of the studio, we see this time as a chance to focus on a few initiatives, whilst feeding our imaginations.

“I started thinkpublic when I was 23 and I had no idea what an impact it would create. thinkpublic has grown from strength to strength, I have been lucky to work with some amazing people on a diverse and exciting range of projects. Yet now is the time to do something different for a bit, the ultimate ‘social’ thing of starting a family! I’m pretty sure it will give me plenty of food for thought, for when I return.” Deborah Szebeko

In 2003 Deborah had a vision that people should be involved in how public services are designed and delivered, and as a team thinkpublic worked with some forward thinking clients including the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, the Alzheimer’s Society, The Gulbenkian Foundation, NESTA, The Design Council and a long list of local authorities and local NHS Trusts to achieve this. This has resulted in many awards, including The British Council’s Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year and our latest Design Week, Service Design Award.

We’ve had an amazing time over the last 9 years leading and shaping the movement of social design and innovation in the UK and beyond. As a team we have used design to influence and change many mindsets, services and policies that have really resulted in creating a positive impact on people’s lives.

And we know there is more to do. So whilst we are away, we’re happy to talk about opportunities and partnerships, so do stay in touch. And watch this space for more news.

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