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Our Story


Founded in 2013 by Geoff Wilkinson and Anna Dixon, Urban Kin brings new life to city-making through culturally based design methods.

 

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Our Story


Founded in 2013 by Geoff Wilkinson and Anna Dixon, Urban Kin brings new life to city-making through culturally based design methods.

 

The Team

 

Geoff's Story 

Geoff loves cities and urban life. He discovered a passion for making great places while landscaping in Canada. This experience lead him to complete a Master in Planning in NZ, and a Master of Urban Design in Australia.

Geoff's urban design practice builds on the long traditions of urbanism. But, updated for the 21st century with start-up methods. He believes in the positive and tangible impacts urban design can make on people's lives.

When he's not on projects Geoff explores the Queensland coast in search of good waves. He also loves to travel to experience and learn from the best places in the world.

 
 

Anna's Story

Anna is passionate about how design interacts with culture. She thrives on engaging with stakeholders or customers to build ownership of solutions. She explores challenges from many perspectives to form a compelling narrative.

Anna has a degree in visual imaging, and a Master of Design Anthropology focussing on cross-cultural design. She has worked in a wide variety of organisations from not-for-profits to global corporates.

She loves markets, cafes, and creating delicious things in the kitchen.

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Our Approach


Make thriving cities and destinations.

Our Approach


Make thriving cities and destinations.

OUR PURPOSE

We thrive on creating cities and destinations that:

  • Connect with people on an emotional level.

  • Enhance quality of life.

  • Make a positive ecological impact.

However, a lot of masterplanning, and engineering fails to produce lively, healthy and sustainable cities. The world needs better methods to make great cities and destinations, and City-makers need better services to help them work with their customers.

Lasting change is tricky to create. Project teams begin full of enthusiasm, but as challenges arise inertia sets in. We need to feel that we are making progress. In city-making failure to execute results in lower quality of life for citizens.

Our purpose is to overcome these challenges and enhance quality of life in cities by:

  1. Using culturally-based design processes to make great places, districts, and destinations.

  2. Developing and deploying urban innovations at scale through services for city-makers.

OUR APPROACH

We use start-up methods, urban design, and human-centred design for our clients' city-making projects. The benefits are: increased buy-in, reduced risk, and quick outcomes.

Cities evolve and what customers value changes - this pace of change is rapid. Our methods help our clients solve challenges and take opportunities. We also collaborate with interdisciplinary project teams to add value to large projects.

START-UP methods

Methods that focus on experiments, discipline, creativity, and finding a winning strategy.

URBAN DESIGN

Design processes to understand, create and adapt places, districts, and destinations which enable citizens and business to thrive.

HUman-centred design

Design processes that use empathy and insights into human behaviour and culture to increase relevance and create enduring change.

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Startup methods


Make thriving cities and destinations.

Startup methods


Make thriving cities and destinations.

HOW the startup method WORKs

Define challenges and opportunities from your customers perspective.

Use a structured design process and prototype your solution(s).

Refine your prototype(s) with experiments to ensure your solution meets customer's challenges.


Why the startup method works

INCREASE BUY-IN

Startup methods engage decision-makers and stakeholders to:

  1. Define opportunities and challenges.
  2. Provide feedback throughout a project.
  3. Build confidence through the Minimum Viable Product concept.

Value Proposition Design orients your project towards customers 'jobs', pains, and gains. A customer-oriented perspective makes your services more valuable.

 

REDUCE RISK

Assumptions are a major source of risk in projects. Experiments allow you to reduce risks by focussing on the most important assumptions. In the long term this reduces costs of redesign and rework of solutions.

 

Accelerate Outcomes

Prototypes allow you to get feedback in the real-world with citizens or customers. Refining the prototype over time allows a winning strategy to emerge. You also avoid wasting resources on building things which customers don't need.