Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Service Design

Lena Wood (She/Her)

I am a social innovation designer, with a focus on critical futures and transformational design practices. I have experience in design research, team leadership, exhibition design, service design, and project management. I am passionate about supporting transformational social change through community empowerment and storytelling.

Over the past year I have been able to further my understanding of research methods and community engagement capabilities. I have been able to practice team leadership roles and collaborative projects with a diverse group of colleagues. With a background in visual communication design, exhibition work, and social sciences – I have the skills to transform complex theoretical ideas into tangible and understandable experiences.

I believe that we as designers should always be learning, that regardless of position we can be taught form those above and below us. My design practice is about questioning and critiquing our present, imagining our future and developing solutions that are equitable and accessible.

Mapping Glasgow: Transforming Futures

Mapping Glasgow: Transforming Futures

This project is developed in cooperation with these communities, using participatory methods and speculative design challenges to create transformational social change. The outcome is an empowerment focused bus co-operative whereby community members and transit riders are offered the opportunity to take control of their public transportation and regain influence as citizens. This is achieved through the humanisation of de-regulation consequences on UK public transportation.

Making space for the community

Many vulnerable riders are also time poor, and so are unable to attend community engagement meetings. Therefore their needs are less likely to be met, even though they are the ones at greatest risk from change. Acknowledging this, I felt it was necessary to make efforts to build my workshops and interviews around these riders. I would go to them, instead of asking them come to me. My workshops would be one-on-one micro-workshops, and they would collaborate by “sending” pieces of their work to the next participant to build upon. This would grant them the opportunity to claim agency and ownership over the final outcome. I would forgo my primary role as a designer in favor of being a facilitator.


A bus co-op could be the next step to seeing sustainable change. While private bus companies are hard to work with and limit collaboration opportunities, the co-operative would seek them out. If fares are affordable, communication is transparent, riders are respected and routes are reliable, this makes the concept of a bus co-operative less speculation and more of a real possibility.

Final Outcome

Transport Positionality


Co-relational Theory Wheel

Autoethnographic Engagement

Transport Exploration

Vulnerable Riders

Commuity Outreach

Journey Maps

Speculative Micro-Workshops

Workshop Participants

Co-Op Structure

Workshop Outcome