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Dr Andrea Siodmok

Dr Andrea Siodmok

Head of the Policy Lab in the Cabinet Office

Andrea is both a practitioner and design thinker with an international reputation for applying design for public good. Formerly Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, she is currently head of the UK Government’s Policy Lab and a Deputy Director at the Cabinet Office.

She is passionate about expanding the boundaries of design practice. From the earliest days of her career at BT’s Adastral Park Labs, through to her more recent Policy Lab projects, her work demonstrates practical ways to improve peoples' lives using design principles and practice. 

Over twenty years her clients and commissions have taken her around the world (and beyond – with some of her earliest consultancy work being designing the World’s smallest x-ray machine for NASA). During that time she has worked with global corporations, government departments, charities and social enterprises on multi-award winning projects. She was an early proponent of service design, and has been a champion for public involvement in designing better public services. 

As a representative of British design she has been invited to run workshops across five continents, regularly speaking and writing about design. She was appointed a member of the European Commission’s Design Leadership Board and has been a contributor to a number of books on design including: Design for Policy (with MindLab), Design Transitions, Restarting Britain and Design for Growth and Prosperity.

Andrea has a first class honours in Industrial Design and a PhD in Virtual Reality.  As an academic she taught product and transportation design, a link she maintains as a visiting fellow at the University of Northumbria. Andrea is also lifetime fellow and an active member of the RSA where over 20 years she has been involved in the Student Design Awards; as a student, tutor, sponsor, judge and more recently chair of judges.


Her work

  • Formerly Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, some of her best known work has been in re-designing hospital furniture and equipment to reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections.

  • In 2009 she led the Design Council’s programme ‘Designs of the Time’ (Dott). Dott’s ten pioneering public projects explored how increasing citizen involvement in tackling local challenges could help create a more inclusive and sustainable society.

  • Following the success of this, she became the first Chief Designer in a local authority in the Country gaining the coveted ‘Creative Councils’ status by Nesta in 2012 for their multi-award winning public engagement platform called ‘Made Open’.

  • Andrea led the Design Museum’s ‘Future is here’ exhibition for the then Technology Strategy Board in 2013 and championed closer connections between science and arts curating a unique gathering of leading scientists and designers at the Science Museum and Design Museum called ‘science meets design’.

  • Today her work with Cabinet Office spans all areas of government with current Lab projects focused on policing, employment, business growth as well as a range of social and family policy issues.


The Policy Lab

The UK’s Policy Lab was launched at the beginning of April 2014.  Policy Lab is a creative space where civil servants can experiment with new techniques and approaches to policy problems from data science to design.  Its existence is born of a recognition that government needs to get better at policy-making; open it up, make it quicker, more digital and more connected with the people who are affected by it.