• Bjørn van Raaij
  • Speaker

    Bjørn van Raaij

Social Innovations

Bjørn van Raaij | Zeewaardig Service Design

Do I design for trust?

The field of (social) design offers principles, methods and tools that are well suited to tackle complex issues, allow people to collaborate and build trust. Designers are therefore well equipped (and we believe obligated) to play an active role in society, both as creatives and facilitators of change. In the perspective of Bjørn van Raaij of the Rotterdam Service Design Bureau Zeewaardig, the frameworks for assignments are determined too much by the clients and too little by the other stakeholders. How do we then achieve the other, desirable solutions for those complex issues? What place do designers give to the people involved in the design processes and how do you design in a different way, so that stakeholders do participate fully in a design process?

In the view of Bjørn van Raaij, an important condition for such cooperation remains (too) often underexposed: mutual trust. He discusses three principles for designing trust: mutual understanding, a level playing field and impact. And he argues that if designers want to play a serious role in tackling the major issues facing the Netherlands, we should ask ourselves and our clients: do we design for and in trust? How social is our design?

With his Service Design Studio Zeewaardig, Bjørn van Raaij works on complex issues in education, healthcare and the spatial and social domain. He develops and facilitates co-creative processes in which 'non-designers' are given the space, tools and 'mind-set' to design a fairer and more sustainable future together.

Bjørn is critical of his own profession. Trained in Civil Engineering & Architecture (Master TU Delft, 2004), he is constantly looking for innovation and connections with other disciplines and is convinced that design can play a promising role in tackling major challenges such as climate change, social and economic inequality and spatial planning. Developing a design mindset and skills in (large) organizations is therefore an increasingly important part of the work of his studio.

Discover Bjørn van Raaij on LinkedIn.