The Auckland Co-design Lab (the Lab) started in January 2015. The Lab has been established to explore complex social issues using co-design principles and other innovative approaches.

The Lab is funded by Auckland Council and eight central government agencies; Treasury, Ministry of Police, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development and Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

The Lab is based with Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative team in Manukau, South Auckland.

A key focus is offering a space for multi-agency teams to collaborate, work alongside citizens and to support and broker innovative ideas and solutions.


There are lots of different definitions and terms people use to describe co-design practice.  Below is a definition that we like, but you might also hear the approach described as human-centred design, design thinking, participatory design.

Co-design harnesses the knowledge and creativity of citizens and staff in identifying problems and generating and implementing solutions – it offers the opportunity to uncover the real barriers to, and accelerants of, progress.
— The Future State Project: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century, Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Policy Quarterly, Volume 6, Issue 3 – August 2010