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Collaborative Dialogues with CO:RE Cards

In this article PDR Post-Doctoral Design Researcher, Safia Suhaimi, introduces CO:RE Cards; describing how they fit within their work as part of Media Cymru and their aim to make design-led tools more accessible for wider creative communities.

What are CO:RE cards?

CO:RE Cards: a COllaborative and REflective deck designed to encourage dialogues, mutual learning and collaboration among creative practitioners based in Wales. The deck is developed to nurture an improved understanding of the ‘language’ surrounding R&D and innovation, as well as reflect our effort as part of Media Cymru to facilitate potential collaboration in the creative industries.

Why did we create them?

We, at PDR, identified from the interviews held with the first training cohort (Innovation for Creatives 2023) that there is an interest in sustaining the network that was built during the training. Participants have already begun to hold informal meetups over coffee where they catch up with each other to discuss current projects and new ideas. We wanted to offer something with additional value to these meetups, by facilitating their conversations with familiar faces as well as allowing them to engage with other creatives who have experienced similar R&D journeys. This is where the CO:RE Cards and PDR & CO:RE series came to fruition.

PDR & CO:RE is a closed thematic event series to support networking, long-term collaboration and improving the cohort’s understanding surrounding design-led innovation. Exclusively catered to the cohorts of Media Cymru’s Innovation Pipeline R&D support programmes, we see it as a space to connect and discuss topics around R&D in an informal environment. Throughout the series, we also invite creative practitioners and experts to share their experiences in R&D and innovation.

CO:RE Cards are used as part of the PDR & CO:RE series, as ‘ice-breaker’ prompts for participants to mutually learn about each other’s experiences, knowledge and perspectives on different topics related to R&D and design-led innovation.

How do CO:RE Cards fit into PDR’s wider research aims in Media Cymru?

Our past observations during our involvement in Clwstwr have identified that one of the crucial steps to encourage innovation among creative practitioners is to equip them with skills and knowledge that can benefit their R&D processes. This includes an improved understanding of the ‘language’ surrounding innovation that they can use and apply in their future innovation-related undertakings. Although we have integrated this primarily in our training and one-to-one innovation support sessions in Media Cymru, we believe that using CO:RE Cards within an informal setting presents a good opportunity to further facilitate participants’ understanding of R&D.

How have we tested our understanding with CO:RE Cards?

We have completed an exploratory evaluation of the CO:RE Cards. This was done through 3 rounds of gameplay with creative industry practitioners and 1 pilot usability test with PDR’s product designers and design researchers. These gameplay sessions allowed us to get an insight into how CO:RE Cards are used as prompts in a collaborative dialogue environment. Our analysis revealed that the CO:RE Cards have encouraged participants to explore their personal and professional experiences in the creative industries which allowed them to mutually learn from each other. In the conversations, they were also actively building a collective understanding of different R&D topics. Knowledge building and mutual sharing are elements that could shape the development of a Community of Practice, where passionate people come together to share ideas, experiences and best practices to support each other’s journeys in the industry. We believe that CO:RE Cards play a potentially significant role in nurturing a Community of Practice for innovation in the creative industries of Wales.

Where do we hope they will go next?

We will be presenting a conference paper at DESIGN2024, Croatia, where we will be talking about how CO:RE Cards can support the building of a Community of Practice for innovation. We are excited to be able to share CO:RE Cards with other design researchers and industry practitioners on an international platform. In terms of research publications, the conference paper will also be included in the proceedings of the Design Society, published by Cambridge University Press. We hope that this will be one of the steps for us to gain further insight into how CO:RE Cards can be used to provide value, support collaboration and innovation in the creative industries of Wales.

One of our aims is to make design-led tools more accessible to wider creative communities. PDR is happy to share the digital deck of CO:RE Cards for access and download. If you do use this deck, please tag PDR on Linkedin or Instagram (@pdr_design).

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