This paper reports from a field study investigating the influence of design initiatives and design approaches on learning in the Danish prison and probation service. The purpose of the paper is to illustrate through one situation how approaches from design have the potential to make visible the invisible and produce implicit changes in relations and perspectives. These changes are conceptualised in terms of transformative learning and competence development, potentially leading to new work processes, and new ways of collaboration. However, this paper puts emphasis on the relational element as a learning outcome, where changes in perceptions, creation of trust and the process of collaborative sense making are pivotal for change and innovation. This is conceptualised as social innovation and it is argued that the concept of social innovation in the prison and probation service presuppose the inclusion of human and relational elements. It is concluded that design approaches may serve as levers for social innovation, taking into consideration the interconnectedness of relations, values and assumptions of the innovators and competence in practice.