Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
5.a 1/2: Transforming Complexities through Design in Collaborative Community-based Processes
Friday, 21/Jun/2019:
11:10am - 12:50pm

Session Chair: Satu Miettinen
Session Chair: Nicola Morelli
Location: LDN.104
1st floor Loughborough University London 103 capacity

Session Abstract

Complexity is a key characteristic of many participatory and community-oriented design activities. Designers’ varied roles are being transformed as they have to manage the complexities and entanglements associated with global societal, technological and environmental change. As design turns towards a social mode of operation and application, this track seeks to open a discourse on the role of design in managing the complexities that affect communities and individuals, alongside their attendant processes and practices. This track discusses the necessary skills and competencies designers may need in order to manage experiences of complexity associated with collaborative and community-oriented design. The role of design in creating solutions that result from understanding, interpreting and analysing multi-disciplinary processes, whilst seeking to adapt to sensitive societal and political situations will be considered. The practical solutions and outcomes that can be produced when (sensitive) social complexities are managed through design will be explored. The track invites practitioners and academics to contribute through case studies, methods, theories and initiatives that deal with complexities through design research and practice.

Topics to be explored include:
• The roles, skills and competencies of designers in mitigating complexities, in particular, those that emerge during collaborative processes and projects of community-oriented design
• The complexities associated with design interventions that are aimed at social transformation and the opportunities they deliver for designers to envision new possibilities for better futures
• The ways in which complexities affect upon both design researchers, the communities they collaborate with, and their impact on methods used in these collaborations
• Methods and methodological approaches for managing complexity or supporting community-oriented initiatives and in particular, with communities at the edge or margin, in transition or in a state of precarity.

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11:10am - 11:35am

Articulating a strategic approach to face complexity in design projects: The role of Theory of Change

Luca Simeone1, David Drabble2, Giorgia Iacopini2, Kirsten van Dam1, Nicola Morelli1, Amalia de Götzen1, Joe Cullen2

1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2Tavistock Institute, UK

In today’s world of global wicked problems, constraints and imperatives imposed by an external and uncertain environment render strategic action a quite complex endeavour. Since the 1990s, within community initiatives and philanthropic projects, the construct of Theory of Change has been used to address such complexity. Theory of Change can be defined as the systematic and cumulative study of the links between the activities, outcomes, and context of an intervention. The area of focus for this paper is to explore whether Theory of Change can support more strategic approaches in design. In particular, the paper examines how Theory of Change was applied to DESIGNSCAPES - a project oriented, among other things, toward offering a supporting service for all those city actors interested in using design to develop urban innovation initiatives that tackle complex issues of broad concern.

Track 5.a-Articulating a strategic approach to face complexity-188Simeone_a.pdf

11:35am - 12:00pm

Participatory design in low-resource settings: a case study of Simprints

Lucia Corsini1, Clara B Aranda-Jan2, Cassi Henderson1, James Moultrie1

1University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2University College London, United Kingdom

Participatory design is a widely recognised approach in Design for Development projects. It supports collaborative, community-based practices and it empowers users to take ownership. Despite the importance of participatory design in solving global challenges, the majority of research has focused its application in the Global North. Recently, some studies have explored participatory design methods in more low-resource settings. Still there is a gap between the existence of these methods, and designers being able to use them successfully because of the complex realities they face in low-resource settings. Existing knowledge is fragmented and there is a lack of best practice guidance for practitioners using participatory design in low-resource settings. We address this problem by reporting the experiences of Simprints, a technology company based in the UK, providing biometric identification solutions in the Global South. Our study reveals key recommendations for participatory design in low-resource settings, providing useful insights for practitioners and design researchers.

Track 5.a-Participatory design in low-resource settings-218Corsini_a.pdf

12:00pm - 12:25pm

The Journey of Local Knowledge Toward Designing Neighbourhood Regeneration

Eunji Woo, Chorong Kim, Ki-Young Nam

KAIST, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

This research explored design opportunities and new challenges with a paradigm shift toward participatory processes in neighbourhood regeneration. Further, it emphasized the significance of local businesses and their local knowledge to overcome the challenges faced by designers. Three types of local knowledge Handler was established based on the Literature Review: Possessor, Processor, and Implementer. Through content analysis on 30 practical cases, 18 types of Actors in the process of participatory neighbourhood regeneration were identified. Based on these findings, two ways of local businesses’ contributing to neighbourhood regeneration projects were proposed: as a knowledge reservoir, and as a neighbourhood guide. As future studies, the authors suggest 1) understanding the types and forms of local knowledge possessed by local businesses and how to motivate them to share their knowledge; and 2) devising new methods of participation for local businesses that can enhance designers’ capabilities in neighbourhood contexts.

Track 5.a-The Journey of Local Knowledge Toward Designing Neighbourhood Regeneration-177Woo_a.pdf

12:25pm - 12:50pm

Making the difference through design. Possibilities for the re-production of Social Capital.

Carla Sedini

Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Contemporary societies have been strongly characterized by the emersion of hybrid economies, which in several cases through making pursue goals of urban regeneration and social engagement. Recently, the Municipality of Milan has started to be interested in several hybrid and collaborative experiences, focused on: 1) the creation of local markets; 2) the revitalization of peripheral areas; 3) the engagement and its inhabitants.

This paper presents the first step of a collaborative study developed by the omissis and the Institute of Design of the IIT of Chicago within the Sister Cities policy program. The results of preliminary research activities, which wanted to investigate the relationship between design, manufacturing and social inclusion will be presented. The main focus will be on the actual and potential role of design within these hybrid activities with particular attention to its capabilities to support the creation/acquisition of social capital both at individuals and territorial levels.

Track 5.a-Making the difference through design Possibilities-389Sedini_a.pdf

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