A Service Lab in Orléans

Lyonnaise des Eaux, 2011

During the first months of 2011 the Lyonnaise Des Eaux - a French water distribution company - contacted the agency. They wanted us to design and implement a consultation process within the city and local actors of Orleans (a 300,000 inhabitant city, located in the centre of France).

In fact, the city had launched a tender call for the renewal of the water distribution contract. And they wanted the companies answering it to engage the inhabitants in the creation of new local services surrounding two themes:

- The creation of biodiversity zones within the city

- Unemployed youth integration into the economic fabric

So we’ve led this open dialogue and drove it until the end, while using the pattern we’d developed earlier: Service Lab. 

We started with the organisation of brainstorming workshops, and then the agency carried on with the creative synthesis of the ideas we gathered. We then proposed 2 flagship projects:Family gardens located in dense urban areas, and an electric dinghy location service on Orlean’s Canal. The family gardens project, that we latter called “water gardens”, enjoyed a deeply specific design. 

These projects fulfilled the objectives we’d establish in terms of labour-market youth integration. In fact, various jobs would be created to answer the needs of dinghy maintenance or vegetable delivery. This is a good example of how far we can go thanks to social innovation. And you know what? The tender call was won :)

Bonus : The service Lab pattern we implemented in Orleans was presented during the 2012 “Observeur du Design” exhibition.