Standard tickets include attendance at one workshop. We’ve done our best to spread the session topics across time zones, so wherever you are in the world there should be something interesting and stimulating for you to attend.

  • All workshops take place between Monday 21st and Thursday 24th September, 2020.
  • When you register, choose both your first and second choice workshops. We’ll do our best to meet all requests based on limited capacity.
  • Dates and times may change based on external factors. In the instance that a workshop time changes and you are not longer able to make it, you will be able to select an alternative.
  • If demand is high, we may schedule workshops to run again to spread capacity. We’ll contact you if this happens and advise you of next steps.

Architecture of Ambience Workshop

Exploring emergent ambient computing capabilities in the home

Tuesday 22nd September, 4pm – 7:30pm CET

A new era of computational interfaces are quickly arriving in the home that are challenging traditional notion of computation as focal/session-based. Internet connected objects and voice enabled ambient computing products growing at an exponential rates are poised to become major pillars in the daily lives of many people.

How should information be organized, arranged, and presented to users? What should these products look, sound, and feel like? How can we create systems that steer technology solutions away from dystopian futures? How can those systems embody multimodal solutions that empower us to focus on the task at hand?

During the workshop we will brainstorm user opportunities in the home that can benefit from an increasingly ambient and connected world of devices. Thinking about emerging device capabilities (for example, presence detection, voice and face recognition, ambient sound, etc.), we will think through architectures for how these building blocks can be combined to help solve user problems.

Process will include: Brainstorming session & discussion, idea focus, sketching, concepting, and information architecture exploration.

Please be prepared to draw/sketch/write on post-its or paper or through a digital medium, and to be able to share these sketches by taking photos and adding them to Google docs/slides and presenting through video conference.

Jon Gaiser

Workshop host

Connecting Users to Content: An Introduction to Taxonomy Design & Creation

Wednesday 23rd September, 4pm – 7:30pm CET

Taxonomies have evolved from classification systems to adaptable interactive tools to link users to desired content on websites. Taxonomies are not the same as a website’s navigation and can do a lot more. Taxonomies can provide guiding categories of topics, suggested search terms, aspects for faceted search, or topics for sorting and filtering results. To be truly helpful, however, taxonomies need to be well designed to suit the users and use cases, be customized to the content, and conform to taxonomy best practices and standards so that they are easy and intuitive to use.

This workshop teaches taxonomy creation principles and addresses the issues of designing a taxonomy to serve users. It presents best practices in designing taxonomies, including the principles of wording of terms, incorporating synonyms, creating relationships between terms, and designing hierarchies and facets. Other topics include taxonomy project planning, support for tagging, and considerations for taxonomy governance and maintenance. The workshop will also include practical exercises and demo the use of taxonomy management software.


Key takeaways
  • How taxonomies can enhance search and findability
  • What sources to use for developing taxonomy terms and the recommended process
  • How to create terms, their synonyms, and relationships, according to best practices
  • How to design hierarchies and facets
  • How to govern and maintain a taxonomy

Heather Hedden

Workshop host

Design for Hope and Impact

A deep dive into Systemic Design

Wednesday 23rd September, 9am – 12:30pm CET

This workshop will focus on Systemic Design, a relatively new methodology that brings together methods from systems thinking and design thinking, in order to tackle complex organisational and social problems. During the workshop, Kristel and Koen will introduce the Systemic Design Toolkit (https://www.systemicdesigntoolkit.org/), a set of design tools and techniques which are meant to be used in participatory workshops. The framework of the toolkit encourages dialogue between all the stakeholders involved. The toolkit acts on a strategic level, supporting people in the analysis of a problematic situation, the co-creation of multiple design “interventions” and fostering the transition towards an ideal future.

Expect a mostly interactive workshop. We’ll be going through the seven steps of the systemic design methodology, simulating a real case. You will learn to “listen to the system”, create system maps, ideate on paradoxes (using a paradox cards set) and plan interventions in the system.

Target audience are designers who are interested in broadening their set of skills – especially in the strategic domain – and facilitators trying to cope with change on a social or organisational level.

Due to COVID-19, we have recently started running this workshop in an online format on multiple occasions.

Koen Peters

Workshop host and speaker

Kristel Van Ael

Workshop host

Designing a Future we Love

Thursday 24th September, 4pm – 7:30pm CET

The world needs more connection. We need products and services we love, but we also need to love each other and love our planet. But, how do we build a future based on love and connectedness when we are in a present based on fear, social division, and the looming catastrophe of climate change? In this workshop we will use the tools of speculative design to create a space for imagination and play when we blast into 2021, and instead of finding a dystopian wasteland we discover a thriving planet full of strong communities and happy people. In this workshop we will explore: How might we bring love into 2120 through artifacts, symbols, rituals, and campaigns?

We will first explore the concept of falling in love, how do we build love with the people we are designing for, but beyond that the systems, ecosystems and natural environments. From that point of love and empathy we will practice world building, where we imagine what this preferred future looks like together and explore the role of designers in shaping that world by creating visual artefacts and narratives. We will then travel back in time to today and look at how we can use the artefacts and narratives we’ve brought back to create strategies to build our preferred future.

Alexandra Alden

Workshop host

Mark Magellan

Workshop host

Information x Organisation

Rethinking organisational systems

Thursday 24th September, 9am – 12:30pm CET

What is the difference between a company that maximises for revenue and a company that maximises for employee happiness?

Although organisations have different purposes and missions, most are built around the same structures, power dynamics and incentive schemes. Whenever a new trend comes in (e.g. remote) either it is a struggle to adapt to it, or the solutions implemented seem to miss the core value, so don’t add as much value as they could.

This inability to imagine new organisations (and better ways to adapt) comes from a lack of knowledge and awareness around the basic unit which constitutes an organisation: information. At its most basic layer, an organisation is a series of steps that ensure information flows in the right direction, no matter if we are talking about a product or service-based organisation. Unfortunately, most organisations are burdened by internal politics, competitiveness, ‘overwork’ and other symptoms of growth and can lose sight of this basic principle.

Information architecture (I.A.) is the structural design of shared information environments. If information flow is at the core of organisational function, how can we apply I.A. methods to create the building blocks of the companies of the future?

Through a card and board game approach, we will help participants to map and unbundle organisations as information machines, getting to the most basic building blocks (information storage, acquisition and retention). Then, we will set different goals beyond revenue maximisation (e.g. happiness, flexibility, scalability) in order to imagine new kinds of organisations. Throughout the workshop, participants will also be challenged on how new technologies can allow them to conceive organisational structures that might have seemed impossible a few years ago.

Miguel Coutinho

Workshop host

Sofia Carvalho

Workshop host

Thomas Walker

Workshop host

Sharing Hope

Wednesday 23rd September, 4pm – 7:30pm CET

To understand design for hope, we must know its architecture.

To know the architecture, we must feel hope.

This experiential workshop uses the skills and knowledge developed in our hobbies and interests to explore hope thru learning and teaching together. By creating a shared space, we can explore ideas of autonoetic consciousness, willpower, joy, disappointment and aspiration.

By playing together, we can understand the difficulties of designing for hope and maintaining aspiration. Thru interactions and conversations in the workshop, participants will feel the constraints and constructs of hope and, thru lecture material, understand more of the neuroscience of personal consciousness and transformation.

This workshop is about sharing personal skills and using community to create the space to feel the loops of individual hope: before, during and after our interactions, both within us and between us. No specialist skills are required to attend and this workshop is open to anyone, whatever their job. When working with personal emotions and experiences, there are risks but we will use communal compassion and personal autonomy to help mitigate them.

Come along to learn and to teach simple things that may bring you joy or disappointment in this place and time, so you can understand how hope is fundamental to being human and our wellbeing, today and tomorrow.

Alastair Somerville

Workshop host and speaker

Take a planet-centric approach with circular design toolkits

Tuesday 22nd September, 9am – 12:30pm CET

Global warming and the Paris agreement are forcing all sectors to review their processes in order to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality in three decades time. Digital is no exception to this trend and must also aim for greater sobriety right now. Already, the digital industry is being asked about the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Designing for humans leads us, by principle, to design with the planet in mind. That’s why designers and information architects should be aware of the consequences of each of their choices in terms of energy consumption and emissions. Participating in this workshop, designers will discover the order of magnitude of the impact their designs yield. They will gain literacy in circular economy principles and toolkits to make more informed decisions.

On a practical note, participants will start measuring the impact of their own practice. Indeed, when designing digital products, we are far removed from the actual consumption and it is a daunting exercise to start. Moving from what is already in use to future projects, this questioning should ideally be initiated during the ideation phase to align all stakeholders and project team members on the “bigger stakes“ at hand. As current frameworks and toolkits may require some tweaking to adapt them to fully digital services, we will share some of the findings we have collected in our practices.

Natacha Hennocq

Workshop host

Sylvie Daumal

Workshop host

Gabriella Cinque

Workshop host

Raphael Doyen

Workshop host

Task modelling: A tool to ground digital design in user needs

Wednesday 23rd September, 9am – 12:30pm CET

Task models are a simple, yet incredibly powerful, design tool. They help us to record user needs in a way that the whole team can work with, all the way from discovery to deployment and beyond. In the UX community, task models have been somewhat eclipsed by experience maps and service blueprints of late. I’m all for a juicy mapping exercise when I’m helping an organisation make strategic decisions. But what if the job at hand is the result of all that strategising: designing a website or an Alexa skill, say? I’ve seen too many teams struggle to convert research insights into compelling designs. Task models can help.

In this workshop, we will step through the process of researching and creating a task model and applying it to digital design. You’ll leave the session knowing how to get started with your own task models.

In between hands-on exercises, I’ll talk about how a task model can influence IA and UI design for digital products. I’ll include practical examples from the world of e-commerce and look at some common interface problems that can be attributed to poor task modelling. I’ll also look at the psychology behind task models and show why they matter so much to designing effective structures and interaction flows.

You’ll get the most out of the session if you have a basic understanding of UX research.

Jesmond Allen

Workshop host

Choose your workshop and register now