Designing Collective Intelligence

Maxim Dedushkov

February 9, 2021


AcrossRCA is an annual programme organised by the Royal College of Art of cross-disciplinary, collaborative projects and workshops that is specifically designed to enable students to gain perspectives on their practice from outside their own disciplines, make connections and find future collaborators. The programme helps foster innovation and creates a lasting impression for many students, shaping their time at the College and their careers beyond. 

Based on the work we did previously with Liminal for Nesta and the United Nations Development Programme on Collective Intelligence Design Holis was commissioned by John Stevens to develop and deliver a 5 days workshop on the topic. 

Designing Collective Intelligence

On a practical level, Collective Intelligence Design is the art of connecting people, technology and data for a better prediction of future events and better coordination of mass activities. By having a better prediction we can make better decisions. Better decisions will lead us to greater social and environmental positive impact. We designed a workshop that helped students to boost their social innovation project by using collective intelligence.

Designing such Collective Intelligence Systems is a complex task. It requires special skills and special knowledge. We introduced the students to the Collective Intelligence Design Canvas that walked them through all the necessary steps of designing a collective intelligence project. 

"First of all the diversity of participants is excellent, and offers the variable chance to collaborate with other students. The timetable and pace as well are very well organized for fulfilling a project like this. Overall I think this is the best course I have attended ever since been here in RCA ;)" anonymous participant feedback

The Designing Collective Intelligence workshop attracted many students and we received 93 applications in just 3 days. 35 students were selected from different disciplines such as Architecture, Digital Direction, Global Innovation Design, Information Experience Design, Innovation Design Engineering, Intelligent Mobility, Photography, Service Design and Visual Communication and were organised in 4 teams. We worked with Roland Harwood from Liminal and Johannes Mutter from to deliver the best learning experience possible.

Student teams developed projects around peer learning at RCA, loneliness, food waste and international relations at RCA.

Further workshops for the Royal College of Art are in the pipeline and we can’t wait to work with them again.

More photos and videos here.