• What would you ask Lorraine Gamman founder of Design Against Crime?

    Education, Industrial Design


    Thanks to everyone who nominated questions for Chad Rea, founder of ecopop, you can now read his answers in our featured interview.

    We are pleased to bring you ongoing opportunities to learn from some amazing people in the field of social design and this week our series continues with the founder of the Design Against Crime Research Centre, Lorraine Gamman.

    What would you ask Lorraine?

    As well as the director of DAC, Lorraine Gamman is a design studies professor at London's Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, the vice chair of Designing Out Crime Association (DOCA), and a an independent assessor for a variety of research councils.

    DAC is a socially responsive, practice-led research center located at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. Its team, made up of artists, designers, criminologists and researchers, aims to prevent crime with well designed products, environments and services.

    DAC has taken on the challenge of balancing aesthetics with function while responding to what is currently happening in society among users and abusers. That challenge has been met with projects like Bikeoff, practice-based design research to prevent bike theft, or Stop Thief Chairs, a line of chairs with a space for users to hang their purses while in public places without putting them at risk for theft.

    Her dedication to researching the role of design in theft prevention, and innovation in forming DAC, makes her a fascinating person to learn from, and we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so.

    So, now, what would you ask Lorraine Gamman?

    Act now: Respond to this post with your questions by August 13.

  • question 1. What are your thoughts on consumer's entry into lowjack technology and integration into every day products - iphone, laptops, backpacks, bikes, children/kids, et. al. Are there ways to make this technology more readily accessible and affordable. Is this an area lacking in open source availability?

    question 2. As more of our (US) population reaches retirement age, seniors are more prone to be easier targets. Can you give some examples where security features in a product can overlap with aiding in the safety of an aging population. Not just talking about universal design in product development to assist in the safety of elderly/baby boomer population; could some of these devices parallel with security and crime prevention as dual product capabilities.

    Thanks! Lee

  • How can we best walk the fine line of providing a secure environment by gathering information and intelligence without becoming Big Brother and infringing upon people's privacy? How do you see gps and cellphones as a part of the equation?

  • has any new research been done on crime deterent products & projects, to help break petty crime habits & are there any new findings on why people commit petty crimes.

  • How does the future of crime awareness and prevention (and your research) include the civic involvement and grassroots efforts that have historically been in place: milk boxes for missing children, Neighborhood Watch, McGruff the Crime Dog, the campaigns for and against the 2nd Amendment in the US and gun violence globally, and to some extent the crimes related to abortion...etc.

    Related: With the increase in tech crimes and the general incomprehension of so many relating to technology, will there be a time when we will just have to trust that there is someone out there looking out for us?

    Thanks, Bronson

  • Do you think that there is a direct link between crime (or the whole palette of unappropriate public behaviour) proned areas & their immediate manmade environment? If that is so, how do you think that design can help to curb these public behaviours? Thanks.

  • to life, the universe, and everything?

  • While I'm as opposed to crime as much as the next person, it strikes me that crimes such as shoplifting, pick-pocketing, or burglary must have their own fascinating histories of creative tools, inventions, and design. I imagine that one element of the design against crime process resembles an arms race of sorts, with each side trumping the other's latest tactics and technologies.

    With all the time you have spent thinking about designed objects that foil or frustrate criminals, do you ever think up designs to assist these acts? Is a splash of criminal-designer roll-play a part of your process?

  • "Its team, made up of artists, designers, criminologists and researchers, aims to prevent crime with well designed products, environments and services."

    What does this mean exactly? Is the idea to prevent crime by creating products that are difficult to steal (or damage, or whatever), or to design products, environments, or services that curb criminal behavior? If to prevent crime, isn't this just an exercise to find design solutions with an interesting "title?" If it's to curb criminal behavior, how can a product, service, or environment, created with the aid of artists, designers, criminologists and researchers, intercept and modify "criminal vectors?" And would such influences work "against" all criminal behavior, in all environments, or only for specific behaviors and locations?

  • Is is about Design for protecting the rich? Can Design prevent crime without taking in account what leads someone into a criminal life ? Whithout promoting better quality of life to poor people?

    Can Design prevent crime through improving the life of people that may enter into a criminal life because the lack of opportunities?

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