Engaging the future.
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Whilst design thinking and user needs and experience remain important to the debate about design and design as a driver of innovation, this paper suggests that greater attention should be given to the increasing importance of engagement. We need to understand more about how we engage with products, with services, how we engage in a social way, and the potential power of the design of that engagement. This paper therefore looks at design in terms of the social environment including social enterprise and innovation. It discusses the interfusion of design and other areas of knowledge including anthropology, sociology and new areas of practice like service design, including engaging a wide range of stakeholders. Emerging concerns for policy development are raised and new trends in the creative economy. Recent crosscutting practice in the UK is referenced, especially case studies where design is seen as solution to major social challenges – health, ageing, and urban/rural regeneration.