It was 2018, a year before the provincial elections in the Netherlands. The turnout, especially in Brabant, is traditionally low. Too low. How could we attract more Brabanders to the voting booth? That was a question that we were occupied with. We had known for a long time already that the collaboration with designers on social issues provided valuable points of view and interesting solutions. This started with a redefinition of the question: ‘What if… instead of influencing turnout incrementally, why don’t we astonish residents with the role that the provincial authorities have on matters that affect them?’
The six topics revealed by the Six Fingers study were recognizable, and the design solutions the designers then came up with were surprising. They hit the right chord, as was demonstrated by the wealth of reactions and extensive publicity generated by the What If Lab during the DDW. It was a successful experiment for us, with a layered result. This initial introduction to the ‘What If Lab’ generated a wealth of output that provides us as the provincial authorities a unique outside-in perspective.
Marc Glaudemans, Director of Accessibility & Growth for the Province of North Brabant