Democratization of Design

Over the course of the next 16 weeks of the Fall 2016 semester, I will write a weekly blog responding to the topics, conversations, and controversies we will discover during CCAD’s discussion-based class, ‘Design for Social Change.’

The growing field of participatory design.

It is difficult as a design student to switch your mentality from designing for to designing with, but it’s a game-changer in the world of design for social change. Wicked problems, those that are systemic and complex in nature, need to have a holistic problem-solving approach. As designers, we can’t let ego and expertism get in the way of finding viable, feasible, and desirable solutions– designing alongside our stakeholders gets us to those solutions.

Liz Sanders, an expert in the field of participatory design or co-design, came in this week and spoke about tools and techniques for designing with stakeholders in the front end of design. While walking through the steps of tell, enact, and make it became more clear that designers do not have a monopoly on creativity– it’s just that we are able to find and facilitate exercises to bring that insight out.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.