Design Role: Communicating: an introduction…

Communicating is the process of disseminating a project and making its results visible and desirable. The process of communicating in the SEEK cases collection aims basically at: design the brand and images of a project (Framework Projects or Local Projects); to design the correspondent communication tools, to make coherent the communication of each Local Projects with the communication developed for the Framework one.
In Framework Projects communicating is a transversal activity that undergoes to all of the Local Projects. This corresponds to the idea that the brand of a local project, its image, tools, channels, messages and values has to be coherent with those of the others and that they has to be defined in terms of the Framework project brand, image and values.
Communicating also play the role of making visible the links among local projects (supporting the emergence of the framework level), it represents the glue of the Framework Projects.

Tentative guidelines:
• Consider the framework/local project as a self-standing entity with its own corporate identity facilitating its dissemination, making its values more explicit and increasing its recognisability…
• Dedicate time and effort to explain intentions, report progress in attractive ways, multiply the different media to improve outreach and facilitate deployment…
• Ensure coherence and readability between framework project and local projects levels;

Detailed analysis:
In the design projects collected from SEEK the idea that communicating is an activity devoted to disseminate can be further elaborated in terms of the need that a project has to be communicated at all of the external audiences that it can serve and the need to communicate and engage all of the direct stakeholders of the project. This with different level of granularity depending on the project stages.
In general all of the projects collected in SEEK implement a series of action devoted to develop the project brand and image and another set devoted to stimulate the stakeholders participation in the project
For instance in Chong Ming Island as well as in Feeding Milano communicating has been represented in different workshops as one of the line on which design will work to develop the Chong Ming Island and the Parco Sud identity and to find ways to communicate it. For both these framework project communication held a strategic role: discovering values, building identity on values, and communicating the identity. Then for Chong Ming a series of light tools has been developed to communicate with end users only for the purpose of the workshop. In Feeding Milano, the most advanced framework project with 2 different local projects implemented, communicating is also mining to establish all of the possible connection and channels to support people participation to the project not only in the design phase (new letter, web site and tools that explain how to become a partner of the project…).
Malmo Social Innovation Living Labs, on the other side, is a Framework Project where, as first action, a huge amount of communication has been devoted to stimulate people direct participation in the project, to obtain the direct involvement of the end users more then to promote it. At the moment, the project is in an advanced phase of development and communication is taking the form of a strategic tool to engage a larger number of stakeholder from end users to municipality, civil servant, private companies…But the project still lack of a brand and image that communicate its identity and represent its value.

In DOTT07 communicating as been mainly devoted to connect (engage) and share methods and results among the different initiatives on the territory.

A brand and a project identity has been elaborated at the level of framework but most of the local projects on the territory had their own blog to track project progress, support trust and transparency.

Communicating in LES represents the most innovative example. In this case both the need to communicate the project image and that of communicate and engage end users and stakeholder has been satisfied with the design of innovative communication tools a san exhibition of the project first results that has been designed to peruse three different goal:
-    Communicating to the city the project: its existence, its values and identity
-    Communicating with end users and stakeholders that by visiting the exhibition could directly express their ideas, needs, beliefs.

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