The Future of the Post Office

Posted by Erin Routson

The postal service is a perennial topic among service designers — the network of offices! the person-to-person interaction! the untapped opportunity! Recent redesign proposals come from Good Magazine, a North Carolina State University student team, and some points farther afield. Even the Public Policy Lab has felt the lure — that’s our speculative redesign of the dreaded ‘pink slip’ for package redelivery above.

And what does the United States Postal Service think about the future of the post office? Well, last week at MIT’s Media Lab in Boston, that was the topic of a forum with Richard R. John, Columbia University School of Journalism professor focused on the political economy of communications in the United States; Kent B. Smith, manager of strategic business planning for the USPS; and David C. Williams, Inspector General of the USPS. The panel was moderated by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, director of the EMAIL Lab and the MIT Media and Organizational Biomimetics Initiative.

More info here, including promise of a summary of the discussion and a podcast. Video of the event is below: