Director of Strategic Design, City of Philadelphia
As the Director of Strategic Design for the City of Philadelphia, Liana Dragoman leads a team of designers working to help make municipal government services more accessible, human, and just.
The Service Design Studio that she leads describes itself as a team of designers that takes the concept of “government of the people, for the people, and by the people” to heart. They employ a human-centered design approach to improve the efficacy of municipal programs and service delivery.
While various departments across local government are focused on making improvements in specific areas of policy like tax code, health services, neighborhood development and emergency relief, the Service Design Studio works alongside these agencies to help improve the delivery of the policies and programs they implement.
“Good policy, which really understands what’s happening on the ground, which really understands lived experience, can enable good on the ground service experiences,” Dragoman points out, “Policy which is removed from lived experience, based on assumption or politics, can create chaos on the ground in a service environment.”
In this conversation, Dragoman talks specifically about how service designers are helping decision-makers inside City Hall think through the eyes of Philadelphia residents and how this approach may help generate deeper collaboration across silos than typically exists at the local government level.