Value of mock-ups in co-designing workspaces
We have recently completed the design phase of work for a new Emergency Operations Centre for the South East Coast Ambulance Service. The centre will bring together two existing sites to co-locate them into a new facility which will provide a significantly better working environment.
As is often the case, the physical move is accompanied by organisational change in the way they work with new roles and processes. Our strategic design work has provided a vehicle to examine the practical implementation of these changes. This has been done through staff engagement which supports the wider change management process. This is where some of the co-design workshops we have facilitated come in.
Following our research & discovery phase, we ran a series of workshops where we explored the layout of the workspace with the staff and management from SECAMB. These gave our team interaction with a wide range of stakeholders and initiated their engagement with the design process. A key attribute of the process is giving ownership and a sense of control to the staff.
We then ran a full-scale mock-up trial of the main working space to finalise the design. These trials included staff from each of the existing sites which will be affected by the changes. Using full scale trials in this way involves staff directly and provides that much needed sense of space and scale which drawings and visuals can never do. It also enabled the staff to role play and act out the new ways of working helping in the development of those new processes. This approach is fantastic in ensuring a connection between work activities and physical space.
During the prototyping trials, video was taken including drone footage of the room mock-up which gives some idea of the scale of the exercise:
We have also extended the co-design working through to thinking about the interior design including the use of colour and environmental graphics in the room.