Innovation School Product Design

John Collins (He/Him)

As a designer I believe it is our responsibility to use design as a tool to help those who need it most. I am passionate about trying to design for society’s most vulnerable, using a human centred approach to focus on people’s true needs and make their lives better.

I am a Service and Product Designer that focuses on Regenerative, Speculative and Human-Centred Design.

Regenerative design forms a crucial aspect of my work. I strive to create products that not only address immediate needs but also contribute to long-term sustainability and resilience. By integrating regenerative principles into my design process, I aim to minimize environmental impact, maximize resource efficiency, and promote social equity. This approach ensures that the products I design not only serve the most vulnerable but also contribute to the regeneration and well-being of both communities and the planet.

Speculative design allows me to envision and explore alternative futures, challenging conventional assumptions and fostering critical thinking. By pushing boundaries and imagining possibilities, I aim to provoke discussions and raise awareness about the challenges faced by marginalized communities. Through speculative design, I seek to shed light on the experiences of the most vulnerable, fostering empathy and understanding among wider audiences.

I firmly believe in the power of human-centred design, which involves understanding and empathizing with the lived experiences of the people I design for. By conducting thorough research, engaging with communities, and actively involving users throughout the design process, I ensure that the solutions I create truly meet their needs and improve their quality of life.

The Urban Bothy

The Urban Bothy

The Urban Bothy: Combining empty retail space with the values of a bothy to create a human centred temporary accommodation for the unhoused.

My self initiated project began with looking at the traditional Scottish Bothy, something that has been close to my heart growing up. A Bothy is a small house in very remote parts of the wilderness that is maintained and left open for anyone who may need to seek refuge while out in the hills. The magic of a Bothy is not the building itself however, but the values within it. My project looked to use those bothies and bring them into the urban environment to help those who need it most.

The Urban Bothy is a unique solution to short term temporary accommodation for the unhoused. Taking advantage of the abundance of empty retail space within our city centres, we provide temporary accommodation that doesn’t have the usual cold and sterile feel that night shelters have, we focus on making people feel comfortable, dignified and safe. We provide each person an individual, lockable sleeping area. Each day support services check each Urban Bothy and offer support to those using the Urban Bothy to help begin the processes to get their lives back on track, from housing applications, to addiction support groups.


Re-Member: A pathway to bring those who are disenfranchised back into the community

This project is based in our future world, which focused on Local Economy. We speculated that with society embracing a regenerative approach, this would bring about a return to localisation and there =fore a return to strong local communities. I saw this as an opportunity to help bring those who are disenfranchised back into our communities.

The Re-Member pathway stands on three pillars, Security, Equity and Connection. Step 1 of the pathway is providing those who are disenfranchised with a home for a minimum of 6 months, this gives them the stability and security they need to begin their process of re-integrating into the community and growing their roots. Equity, with the SEED being the new hub of the local community, where most opportunities for growth and connection are, the housing for those in Re-Member has the most access to the SEED by being in the immediate vicinity of it. Emotional connection is the driving force behind being part of the community. With the connection creation area, it is the perfect environment for having engaging, meaningful conversation to begin to become part of the community.

Through this process people will be given a second chance to integrate with the community and become part of the regenerative movement.