Camilla Buchanan


Previous Education

Camilla works the UK Government’s Inclusive Economy Unit – a new unit looking at responsible business, social investment and business models for public services. She runs the team’s work on what’s called the ‘social investment market infrastructure’, this is the organisations and connections that mean investments can be made into organisations and projects that result in social impact. Camilla has one foot in the design world and the other in policy making, and design has played a big role in helping to understand the real user needs and dynamics at play in the social investment market.
Before this Camilla was part of the UK Design Council’s policy team, where she first started using and teaching design to policy makers. She has also worked at the British Council in London, in the Cultural Policy Unit at the European Commission in Brussels and at the Crafts Council in London, setting up their first ever policy strategy.

Camilla is a design fellow of the Winston Churchill Trust and The Public Policy Lab, a policy/design not-for-profit in New York. She’s doing a PhD in design at Lancaster University.

Thesis Title

Design patterns for strategy challenges


Prof Rachel Cooper

Research Summary

This PhD uses case studies to look at the role of design in new, strategic
contexts like policy making. Research is based on professional experience
working with policy makers using design, first as an employee of the UK
Design Council then working at the Cabinet Office.

Research interests

The aim for the PhD is to step back and examine what is taking place in daily
practice relating to design. To ask what type of design has been used in more
strategic contexts? How is it used and is it useful? And what a design
framework for policy makers and others might be? The research was
prompted by the interest in using design new contexts like policy
development, and to replace anecdotes about best practice with information
to inform more considered general practice.


1. Service Design Network Conference, New York, Sept 2015. Slides ( and more (
2. Service Design in Government, Conference, April 2016, slides (
3. Co-authored book chapter, ‘Design & Policy Making’ in Designing for Service, completed July 2016 (publication Feb 2017)

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