UnDesign the Present to Ship a Better Future

A keynote by Priya Prakash

“If you design a car – you are designing the car accident, too. So how do we design a better car accident” said Raymond Loewy who with Victor Papanek (Design for the Real World) foresaw the unintended consequences of design on society way back in the 50s and 70s.

Today we are designing products and services that meet specific business metrics at the expense of the collective’s well-being. We need design principles that starts with the collective wellbeing as an essential criterion and works back to incorporate individual utility in a systemic integration.

Designing new experiences involving emergent and impactful technologies with the city of Helsinki acting as a test bed/lab, let’s tap on our inner optimist to reframe both the problems and solutions to unpack urban challenges. Play with plausible approaches when undesigning solutions that work with nature, ethics, collective intelligence, triple bottom line business models. This talk hopes to inspire us to take risks on smaller bets by applying holistic design for better futures for plants, animals, people and planet.


Priya Prakash

Designer & Founder, Design for Social Change

Priya Prakash is designer-founder of award-winning D4SC - Design for Social Change - A London based urban-tech R&D company working with cities, infrastructure services and location data providers specializing in real-time collaborative systems combining human and machine intelligence to solve urban problems and improve life in cities for everyone.

D4SC re-thinks resident, customer service, developer, citizen experiences across platforms, services and infrastructure, by converging physical and digital world touch points in real-time. The goal is to leverage sensor and crowd-sourced data using AI and machine learning to develop collective intelligence systems and ethical algorithms making cities smarter, more human and anti-fragile inspired by nature.

For example - D4SC’s intelligent people-powered decision making platform Changify improved public infrastructure with Amey Ferrovial in the #Smarterstreets pilot with city of Plymouth, UK resulting in reducing average road inspection costs by 22%, increasing citizen satisfaction and contractor responsiveness by 19.8%.

Prakash has been featured in IBM’s People for Smarter Cities, in FT, Sunday Times, BBC, Wired, Guardian and the Queen’s 2017 Honours list for award winning work in Chinese smart cities using data to improve public safety. Prior D4SC, Priya led global design teams launching affordable smart phones for Nokia and was lead-designer and co-inventor of BBC iPlayer with joint patents.