The challenges of 21st century are complex, shape-shifting and interconnected. In response, ATÖLYE offers a unique work structure where a T-shaped core team is surrounded by a curated transdisciplinary community to enable creative collisions and a growth mindset. We work with startups, SMEs, corporations, foundations and academia, while establishing new ventures ourselves. Across all of the case studies, we bring a human-centered design approach to develop integrative and pragmatic solutions across scales.
We believe in the act of deep listening. Following the tenets of Design Thinking, Behavioral Design and Theory U, we are well aware that empathy and sensing along are essential steps to discover the root causes. Therefore, both in client projects and our joint ventures, we spend considerable effort in Design Research to derive unique insights. In this journey, we maintain a divergent attitude with abundant curiosity and engage with all stakeholders through both quantitative and qualitative explorations. We utilize both explicit and tacit methods such as passive observations, interviews, surveys, empathy mapping, user journey mapping and immersion workshops, among others. We also go through global and local benchmarking to ensure future-proofing at the earliest phase of the project.
Led by the Product-Service-System practice, we create a strategic springboard and a robust project roadmap that contains appropriate briefs for the Design, Technology and Communications scopes. We make sure that in this convergent phase, outlier ideas are captured rigorously to enable other explorations in the future. We also offer Community-Building as a Service in suitable projects where a long term co-design vision is necessary. ATOLYE itself is one such project.
Ideate & Prototype
Based on the generated briefs from the previous phase, we build appropriate teams to tackle the specific, well-defined creative challenges. These teams usually include select members from our member community, co-design partners from the client side and global thought leaders. We regularly run inclusive community-only brainstorming and feedback sessions to tap into the hive mind. We also utilize the Makerlab extensively for rapid prototyping of ‘phygital’ ideas. Our solutions may well range from Branding to Digital Design, from Product Design to Spatial Design, and from Hardware to Software.
Test & Receive Feedback
Across all work streams, it is crucial for our outputs to be tested on the field. To that end, we engage our Design Research and Communications team to methodically receive and document feedback from all related stakeholders. We also conduct tailor-made Event Planning such as co-design workshops, product launches and roundtable sessions in our Venue to close the loop. Based on the feedback, we don’t hesitate to go back to the drawing board, and adjust our solutions.
Add Long-Term Value
We believe that in this fragmented world full of messy challenges, it is crucial to create ‘social objects’ through which people can engage with each other, be it via UNDO Shoelaces, Ege Container Park, imece Social Innovation Platform or the Teachers’ Network. Meanwhile, we are well aware that the “dark matter,” i.e. the cultural and political forces, are usually those that prevent innovation from materializing in its proper form. Therefore, we seek long-term engagements that arrive at more holistic solutions for all parties and create lasting social, ecological and economic impact. Whenever possible, we engage with 3rd party partners to better evaluate and understand our projects’ holistic performance.