Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Citizenship

Edward Cox (He/Him)

Images showing interactions with the Active Travel Companion

I am an interdisciplinary design and creative practitioner who works with people and organisations to help them get better at what they do. 

I began my career in brand design and communications, evolving into brand development and strategy work through a consistent pursuit of purpose, which subsequently led to working within innovation and change. In my professional practice I have worked across various sectors with multi-nationals through to start-ups. Clients include: Adobe, Vodafone, Dyson, Thames Water, NHS, Barclays, WEF, EY and Manulife.

I joined the Masters in Design Innovation & Citizenship programme at GSA to reconnect with and further develop my understanding of the relationship between design practice and contemporary society through a design-led critique of present complexity to inform the future, and to deepen my research expertise.

I am interested in the effects of bias and human learning styles in the development and use of knowledge by complex multi-stakeholder systems and the use of data modelling to inform decision making; ideally aligned to positive design-led innovation. I am also interested in the role of facilitation, both active and passive, and how spaces and environmental settings influence behaviour.

Active Travel Companion
Images showing interactions with the Active Travel Companion

Active Travel Companion

In this project I examined the role mobility systems play in the relationship between people and place, considering whether current human centred ‘as a service’ innovations are improving or worsening community connectivity, well-being and prosperity, and how knowledge and discovery could be used as contributory means to achieve systemic aims. In essence, what if urban mobility systems are more important than mechanisms to make journeys?

Specifically my project question was ‘How might we make active travel (cycling, wheeling and walking) the preferred method for regular 2-4 mile journeys taken in and around Dundee City?’

By means of context consider this innovation speculation ‘Performed Mobility System Design‘.

If we look at the mobility system as a stack, from Infrastructure and vehicles at the bottom through to the user at the top, the current development of mobility intermediaries through the digitisation of mobility systems and MaaS is focused on the integration of services, information and transactions which are delivered to the user; based on the infrastructure and vehicles available. Therefore the mobility intermediary is considered from the infrastructure to the user.

Can we consider the mobility intermediary from the user down to the infrastructure. Could participatory digitisation of active travel encourage a shared sense of localised mobility systems, generating more community informed information, services and infrastructure?

This led to the innovation concept of the Active Travel Companion. A ‘mobile with’ companion device to encourage shared active travel, a participative active travel data generator, based on a community open data platform, and a hyperlocal participatory device to inform and influence infrastructure design development and decision making, ultimately leading to more community based influence which localises decisions.

Innovation Speculation – Performed Mobility System Design

Innovation Concept – Active Travel Companion

Active Travel Companion – Day In The Life Scenario

Day In The Life Scenario – Performed Mobility System Design

Active Travel Companion – Three Main Features

Active Travel Companion – Companion Interactions

Active Travel Companion References