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Designing Information for Public Understanding

Designing Information for Public Understanding

8th February 2018

On Monday 5th February 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group and the Centre for Information Design Research at the University of Reading were delighted to host a panel discussion and parliamentary reception to discuss developments in this fascinating sector. 

Held in the Macmillian Room at the heart of the Parliamentary Estate, the panel members were joined by a packed audience of over seventy academics, parliamentarians and policy makers to examine how information design can improve wayfinding, the built environment and accessability for the general public. 

The evening was hosted by Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, Chancellor of the University of Reading, who opened the event by discussing the history of the CIDR. a research centre which focuses on the theory and practice of designing complex information. The Centre's work brings together expertise in writing, graphic design, interaction design and psychology. CIDR collaborate with domain experts, such as doctors and public health specialists, educationists, lawyers, and meteorologists. Multidisciplinary working of this kind is the basis for extracting generalisations from individual projects that contribute to a growing understandingof the theory of information design.

The panel discussion was hosted by Barry Sheerman MP, Co-Chair of the APDIG and brought together four senior figures specialising in the subject: 

  • Professor Rachel Cooper OBE: Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy, Lancaster University
  • Professor Paul Rodgers: AHRC Design Leadership Fellow
  • Erik Spiekermann: Internationally renowned information designer, type designer and author
  • Professor Alison Black: Director of Centre for Information Design Research

The panel discussion was followed by a presentation from Dear How To - a small team of recent graduates who work in the field of textless communication. 

The event concluded with an informal drinks reception. 

The matters discussed by the panel will be developed into a term paper, which will be circulated to all attendees to discuss how Government can continue to lead on this growing sector of the wider design economy.