Co-Design Resources

“Design with” is definitely newer, and therefore less documented than “Design for” (within the already hard to talk about messy design process). But there are some trailheads on the internets.

Design specific

  • Article written by Carl di Salvo about Public Design Workshop at the Georgia Institute of Technology called growbot workshops. They presented technology to local organic farmers and worked with them to build robots that solved their unique problems. Very much digging this process (which is well described in the article) and want to try this sometime this quarter! What happens afterward with the prototypes?
  • Liz Sanders, a pioneer of participatory design. Lots of papers up on her site, MakeTools.
  • Chris Le Dantec has done collaborative design with different publics (and has worked with homeless populations and service providers before) has articles about such on his site.
  • Alex Gilliam and Public Workshop “helps individuals, organizations, and schools achieve great things through design.” Lots of case studies and reflective blog posts on the site of working with middle school students on design.
  • On that note, does teaching design and co-designing with K-12 students increase the creative capital of a community (and our world)? Emily Pilloton’sStudio H is testing that out in Bertie, NC. Local organizations around the U.S.—such as UpLift Austin or Project: Interaction or others—are doing similar things. (Related to “A case for design literacy” by Chris Pacione in Interactions magazine)
  • There’s this history of community design movement by Mathias Heyden in An Architektur magazine (that I can’t find a digital version of so haven’t read yet, but it was recommended by Gilliam.)(Official title — An Architektur 19-21: Community Design. Involvement and Architecture in the US since 1963)
  • Susanne Hofmann with Baupiloten does architecture in collaboration with university students and their clients. Case studies in the projects section. She’s designed some cool schools with participatory design input, among other things.
  • Sunni Brown, Dave Gray, and their gamestorming crew offer activities and ideas for bringing design methods and visual thinking tools to “non-design” folks.

Outside of Design

  • Theatre of the Oppressed pioneered by Augusto Boal (my blog post about TTO)
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire (Chapter 1)
  • “Biliteracy, Empowerment, and Transformative Pedagogy” by Jim Cummins. The last section summarizes Alma Flor Ada’s critical literacy framework whose phases (descriptive, personal interpretive, critical analysis, and creative action) parallels Liz Sanders’s four levels of creativity (do, adapt, make, create) to some extent.
  • “play/game theory, early childhood development (creativity and collaborative learning), neuroscience, animal behavior and even military battlefield research more useful” (via Alex Gilliam, who also suggests teaching something complicated to middle school students)

Now the tricky part

Actually doing this stuff. Which takes more time (we only have 6 weeks). And is less structured. And is more difficult to get people to buy into it and involved. And whose value is less tangible.

2 thoughts on “Co-Design Resources”

I would like to know if the Shakers could be catalogued as a designing community based in “design with”Also I am interested in to find out more about this topic.As a MA student in learning and teaching in higher education I would like to know how we (old designers), could be involve in approach new disciplines in order to re-cast the discipline base in the article written by Jon Kolko Remapping the Curriculum.I meant what subjects do you think could be more suitable to kick off?Thanks in advance,Ricardo

ricardo – not sure about the shakers. would need to learn more about their community.for your other question, i think the focuses that kolko mentions are good places to start to both study and try out: service design, interaction design, designing “with”, or education.

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