Co-Design in Action

Micène Fontaine, February 24, 2022

Participatory Design

The small town where I live is not known for being on the cutting edge of urban planning, and yet, here was the city, taking a step towards participatory design - or co-design.

I took pictures (above) and resumed running, feeling optimistic about this revitalization effort. When I returned to my office, I added the photo to a folder with dozens of case studies, articles, and images collected throughout 2021 and labeled "Participative." This was one of the threads running across design and architecture publications, and there it was, unfolding in my backyard just as we were putting the final touches on our Change by Design session on - you guessed it - "Co-Design."

Of course, participatory design is more than stickers on the side of buildings. That's just one of the many tools designers can use within the participatory design framework. Co-design is a great way to start listening deeply to go beyond designing "for" and to start designing "with."

If you are interested in this topic, Kelly Ann McKercher's book, website or quiz are good places to start learning on your own (We get nothing if you don't buy the book and we still get nothing if you do 🌈 KA's site is just full of great resources.)

You can also check out our AIA- and IDCEC-approved Change by Design session with Bibiana Pinto. Filled with case studies, our Co-design session delves into how it works, the results it yields, and where you can get started in your practice. 

:Design Arts SeminarsChange by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesCo-Design

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