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It’s that time of year, when Design Offices and civic institutions of all shapes and sizes publish year end reports reflecting on all the acorns we stowed away for winter. Momentarily suspended above the pitched fray, let’s collect our thoughts and review the past in hope it sparks reflection on future need and insight into 2020 plans.

Here we share a short report of our progress in 2019 for your consideration.

In the Department of Innovation & Technology 2019 Strategic plan Design Office work supports five key strategic objectives:

The document lays out specific initiatives taken in each area to impact design quality. With the transition to a new administration and subsequent changes in leadership and organizational structure, there were significant impacts on the ability of the Design Office to forecast and plan accurately. Thus, the year was often more reactive than intended, and once again a host of unforeseen requests and policy changes result in microsites and communication strategies removed from our department’s goal of services over sites.

The report’s strategic frame is the kind of policy document you write for a department of the nation’s third largest City. For the Design Office, I wrote a simpler document of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs, which you can read more about here). Though they use a quarterly timeframe, I applied it to our yearly goals.

2019 Design Office OKRs

For full details visit the 2018-2019 report the Design Office made in January 2019. So, how did we do?

2019 Design Office results

Design Office accomplishments

As a result of the context above, I will not attempt to tie the work below to individual initiatives under each strategic objective from an internal planning document. Instead, each piece of work will be tied back to the aforementioned strategies by number, like so:

We (the royal ‘we’) view design work as falling into one of four categories, generally: Culture, Process, Product, and the ever-lovin’ Miscellaneous.




Talk - action = 💩 as the Brian Jonestown Massacre has let it be known. Hopefully, we avoided that category for our efforts this year.



It has been a tumultuous year for the Design Office, and DoIT. Instead of looking at what might have been, let’s consider what we did with the opportunities presented to us in 2019, and look ahead to more of the same in 2020 with a renewed vigor.

Happy holidaze and thank you for the privilege of serving you.