Bookmark: "Legal Design Pioneers"

Sebastian Greger


This podcast episode, hosted by Carol Hannud, is a comprehensive and very personal intro into legal design, told by four pioneers of the discipline — through the lens of how they ended up working in this field and how they look at it:

  • Colette R. Brunschwig from the University Zürich, who pioneered legal design in 1992 when exploring the visualisation of legal concepts
  • Stefania Passera (known to many from her work on the privacy policy), who wanted to use her visual design skills for a purpose and ended up being “the black sheep surrounded by lawyers”
  • Astrid Kohlmeier, a lawyer who looks back at a long career in insurance and law practice and got interested in getting a second degree in design after working a student job in ad agency.
  • Marie Potel-Saville, who as an in-house lawyer saw old templates no longer fitting today’s challenges.

In addition to their personal motivations for practising and promoting legal design, they are asked to attempt a “definition” of legal design and explain why they see that this emerging discipline matters.

My personal highlight is when Colette Brunschwig — who explicitly tries to add “a very scholarly understanding” to the discussion states how legal design is a fuzzy term in the design discourse and that there are many sub-fields such as legal service design, legal interaction design, legal software design, legal product design, legal architecture design. There indeed is no one “legal design”, and for example a discipline like “legal interaction design” sounds like something very much worth exploring further.