The Ripple Framework: A co-design platform (a thousand tiny methodologies)

Luis Soares*, Sarah Kettley, Chris Speed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted long-standing issues in the healthcare sector in the UK, including difficulties in retaining and recruiting staff. These are complex and interconnected problems, making them difficult to solve. We identify this as a methodological challenge that needs to be addressed. We illustrate a potential way of achieving this through the Healthier Working Lives (HWL) research initiative funded by the Healthy Ageing Challenge, Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (SBDRP). The SBDRP is an interdisciplinary, intersectorial programme, aiming to find ways of improving working conditions for care workers. The HWL study took place in 6 care homes in Scotland, with 31 participants, of which 25 were frontline staff, and 6 were in administrative and managerial roles. We acknowledged the complexity of these issues and sought to support care workers by developing a flexible response able to adapt to their precarious circumstances. By reflectively engaging with a set of care homes across Scotland, and learning about their circumstances, the project has the potential to bring about a fundamental rethink regarding optimal strategies for supporting the care sector in overcoming its difficulties. Our own attempt at this resulted in the Ripple Framework (RF), a methodological platform to assist both the research team and care workers in working together meaningfully. The RF allows researchers and care workers to become actively immersed in the context and restore their agency to speak out and act within their social setting. The RF emphasises dialogue, capacity-building, and empowerment, suggesting its potential to go be applied beyond the healthcare sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2023)
Subtitle of host publication‘Life-Changing Design’
PublisherThe Design Research Society
Number of pages15
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2023
EventCongress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research: Life-Changing Design - Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Duration: 9 Oct 202313 Oct 2023
Conference number: 10


ConferenceCongress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research
Abbreviated titleIASDR Congress 2023
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • co-design
  • participatory Design
  • care
  • complexity
  • futuring
  • world making


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