The introduction of design to policymaking: Policy Lab and the UK government

Jocelyn Bailey, Peter Lloyd


The use of design within government institutions is a rapidly accelerating trend of global dimensions. The emergent nature of these design practices, and cultures, raises questions about what exactly is happening in the interactions between design and political institutions, and how that might be understood in broader socio-economic and political terms. This paper reports on a series of interviews with senior level civil servants working in UK central government, all of whom have had some exposure to design methods and techniques through interaction with the UK Policy Lab. The paper sets out the ways in which the epistemology and practices of design, as introduced through Policy Lab, both expose and challenge those of the political institutions and policy professionals they seek to change. 


Policy Design labs

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@Annual Review of Policy Design ISSN: ISSN 2291-6989