What is an Innovation Lab?

Welcome to our first blog from the Bexley Innovation Lab!

Amy and Emily

For one thing, there are no test tubes or Bunsen burners and you don’t have to wear a white coat and safety goggles to get involved.

Innovation Labs are used by all sorts of organisations to create time and space for thinking creatively, tackling difficult problems in new and experimental ways, and generating inventive solutions.

At Bexley, the Lab is a physical space, based in room LG88 on the lower ground floor at the Civic Offices. If you come down to take a look (and we hope you will) you’ll see that the space is already taking shape, with brown paper and post-its on the walls giving a visual representation of progress on the projects the Lab is working on. We’ll talk more about this way of working in future posts on the blog.

However, it’s more than just a room. The Lab also encompasses a design methodology for looking at services and how they could be improved to better meet the needs of the people who use them and so make them more sustainable in the long run. This methodology is based on the Double Diamond which has four stages: Discover, Define, Design and Deliver. This blog will unpack more about the methodology and how it’s applied in later posts.

Double Diamond

Finally, the Lab is also about transferring skills into the organisation. Although the Lab is focused on specific projects for now, the methodology can be applied across the Council, so we want to create as many budding service designers as possible! We’ll be holding monthly lunch time learning sessions which all staff are invited to find out more.

Join us in the Council Chamber on:

Thursday 21 January: 1 – 2pm
Tuesday 16 February: 1 – 2pm
Wednesday 16 March: 12 – 1pm
Tuesday 19 April: 12 – 1pm

There’s a core project team wrapped around the Lab who will be involved day to day, but we hope this will pique your interest and encourage you to come down and say hello!

I've been to the Lab