Co-Design to Bridge the Gap Between Perception and Reality.

Micène Fontaine, March 8, 2022

"Perception is reality." This quote reminds us that there is always a gap between our perception and others'. And, in design, that matters a great deal. It's helpful to remember. Yet, it's also incomplete. We know that our perception is shaped through the lens of who we are, our past experiences, etc. Hence, my perception is my reality; your perception is your reality; their perception is their reality, etc. 

There will always be gaps, and there will almost always be overlaps.

A commitment to unearthing these overlaps is critical in any relationship. And, as the conversations with my husband over the past 24 hours confirm, it can be tricky. It requires us to suspend our personal experience of reality, ego, and professional expertise long enough to get to where - in a conversation - our story meets theirs. Their reality, and where it meets ours and countless "others."

Principles of Co-DesignPrinciples of Participatory Design (Slide by Bibiana Pinto)

Co-design is a way for architects and designers to understand and weave these stories together and then leverage their professional expertise to design environments where these seemingly disparate stories can play out as harmoniously as possible.

How do you get started? There is a basic framework that architects and designers can use to implement this approach. We explored this framework during our AIA- and IDCEC-approved Change by Design session with Bibiana Pinto. Kelly Ann McKercher's book, website or quiz are also 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.)

Why co-design? Because you get to help more people charter their own path, follow their dreams, live their purpose - including yours. Co-design invites you to leverage your creativity and professional expertise to design a solution that can make an impact beyond what your client had hoped for.

:Design Arts SeminarsChange by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesCo-Design