Aat Vos is a leading creative figure in the world of library design, and an advocate of libraries as ‘third place’ – an urban environment for the citizen when not at home or at work or school.

He has worked on a number of ground-breaking projects, notably Biblo Tøyen and the Stovner library, both in Oslo and both featured by Designing Libraries.

In his latest blog post Aat calls on Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction to help understand resistance to change, and the key to overcoming it: harness the power of the ‘public’ that ‘public’ services are supposed to serve, and find out what people really need.

“An assumption is the mother of all screw-ups. In many of my projects we are working on in-depth analyses of the users’ needs before designing anything at all. If we think we know, we don’t. So, we are out there to investigate what locals need and how their needs can be met by public services.”