NEWS28 November 2012

Warwick Business School and Design Council launch behavioural design lab

Government UK

UK — Warwick Business School and the Design Council have collaborated to create what they say is the world’s first behavioural design laboratory.

The lab will bring together the power of design with behavioural research studies, looking at binge drinking, the impact of the internet on teenagers, energy consumption and efforts needed to boost the flagging economy.

It will be led by Warwick Business School’s Ed Gardiner (pictured) as the behavioural design lead. He will look at associating market research findings with design principles to create new communications methods of addressing social problems.

Gardiner said: “I believe that most people want to live a healthy, happy life within their means, doing what’s best for family, friends and Mother Nature. But in reality – consciously or not – the decisions people make regularly knock them off course. A tough day at work justifies driving in, ordering takeaway keeps the children happy, or financial stress makes saving unfeasible. Organisations need a new approach. That is where the Behavioural Design Lab comes in.

“We can combine the latest research in behavioural science with design to physically change the way people think, feel and behave for the better. Only when organisations adopt both experimentation and design-thinking will they uncover game-changing ideas.”

Mat Hunter, chief design officer at the Design Council, added: “There is growing interest in the power of design thinking and behavioural science to tackle complex issues. This pioneering collaboration will combine theory and practice in order to confront the most pressing challenges of our time.”