Design as Democracy
8 x 10
Full color, 143 photos and illustrations
8 x 10
Full color, 143 photos and illustrations
How can we design places that fulfill urgent needs of the community, achieve environmental justice, and inspire long-term stewardship? By bringing community members to the table, we open up the possibility of exchanging ideas meaningfully and transforming places powerfully. Collaboration like this is hands-on democracy in action. It’s up close. It’s personal. For decades, participatory design practices have helped enliven neighborhoods and promote cultural understanding. Yet, many designers still rely on the same techniques that were developed in the 1950s and 60s. These approaches offer predictability, but hold waning promise for addressing current and future design challenges. Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity is written to reinvigorate democratic design, providing inspiration, techniques, and case stories for a wide range of contexts.
Edited by six leading practitioners and academics in the field of participatory design, with nearly 50 contributors from around the world, Design as Democracy shows how to design with communities in empowering and effective ways. The flow of the book’s nine chapters reflects the general progression of community design process, while also encouraging readers to search for ways that best serve their distinct needs and the culture and geography of diverse places. Each chapter presents a series of techniques around a theme, from approaching the initial stages of a project, to getting to know a community, to provoking political change through strategic thinking. Readers may approach the book as they would a cookbook, with recipes open to improvisation, adaptation, and being created anew.
Design as Democracy offers fresh insights for creating meaningful dialogue between designers and communities and for transforming places with justice and democracy in mind.
"This book is a win."
"Design as Democracy is a radical rethinking of participatory design by leaders in the field. Full of invaluable techniques for collective creativity, it is an indispensable resource for all designers who aspire to engage more deeply with communities."
Anne Whiston Spirn, author of "The Granite Garden" and "The Language of Landscape"
"Good recipes for democratic design are certain to include and be inspired by the diverse techniques and essential ingredients this book brings together. Its many stories reveal the profound power of designing together. Above all, its pages uphold democratic design's value and purpose in co-creating a more just and life-affirming world."
Paula Horrigan, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University
"Design as Democracy is a timely collection of essays that provides extremely useful techniques and best practices in transactional design, outlines the philosophical tenants that underlie such an approach, and offers international perspectives that highlight our common desire as humans to shape our communities in concert with our fellow citizens."
Kurt Culbertson, Chairman/CEO, Design Workshop
Chapter 1: Suiting up to Shed
-What’s In It for Us? Designing a Durable Team. Julie Stevens
-I Am Someone Who. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Challenging the Blank Slate. Sungkyung Lee and Laura J. Lawson
-Environmental Autobiography Adaptations. Marcia J. McNally and Laura J. Lawson
-Finding Yourself in the Census. Marcia J. McNally
-Consume, Vend, and Produce. Marcia J. McNally
Chapter 2: Going to the People’s Coming
-Start by Listening. Noah Billig
-Village Talk. Hala Nassar and Paul Duggan
-Community Camera: Piga Picha. Chelina Odbert and Joe Mulligan
-Sketching Together. Richard Alomar
-El Carrito: Rolling Out the Cart. Havier Fraga Cadórniga and David de la Peña
-Pop Up Meeting. Amanda Lovelee
Chapter 3: Experting: They Know, We Know, and Together We Know Better, Later
-Cellphone Diaries: Asset Mapping with Mobile Technology. Kofi Boone
-Mining the Indigenous. Austin Allen
-The Investigative Reporter. Patsy Eubanks Owens
-Reflect, Articulate, Project (R.A.P.) Method for Sharing Community Stories. C.L. Bohannon and Terry Clements
-Adults Designing Playgrounds by Becoming Children. Yeun-Kum Kim
Chapter 4: Calming and Evoking
-Mapping the Common Living Sphere. Kota Maruya
-Visual Timeline. Sybil Diver
-Children’s Exciting Neighborhood Exploration Event. Isami Kinoshita
-Community Innovation Forum. Christian Dimmer and Yu Ohtani
-The Big Map. Chao-Ching Yu
Chapter 5: "Yeah! That’s What We Should Do"
-Prioritizing Decisions. Maren King
-Community Voting, Local Committees. Sago Network
-Getting a Gestalt. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-In-House Aha!. Marcia J. McNally
-Renkei Method: Scaling Up by Connecting Scenes. Yokyo Tsuchiya and Masato Dohi
Chapter 6: Co-generating
-Drawing Out the Sacred, Upside Down. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Green Rubber Stamp. Chenyu Lien
-Design Buffet. Jeffrey Hou
-Place It Workshop. James Rojas
-Picture Collage Game. Hideaki Shimura, Kosuke Matsuo, and Shigeru Satoh
-Designing Life. Shin Aiba, Jing Jin, Akihiro Soga, and Hirotaka Ikeda
Chapter 7: Engaging the Making
-Start with Building. Alex Gilliam
-Early Success through Banner Making. Milenko Matanovic
-Pallet Furniture. Lauren Elder
-La Maqueta: Interactive Model for Studying and Imagining the City. Andrés Martínez de la Riva Díaz
-Cross-Cultural Prototyping. Kofi Boone
-Design/Build Service Learning Studio. Daniel Winterbottom
Chapter 8: Testing, Testing, Can You Hear Me? Do I Hear You Right?
-The Spatial Design Game: A Design Game That Teaches and Tests. Henry Sanoff
-Anticipated Archetypes and Unexpected Idiosyncracies. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Raise Your Own Sea Level. Victoria Chanse
-Machizukuri: Visualizing Sequential Futures. Naomi Uchida and Shigeru Satoh
- Preemptive Comparison. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Participatory Budgeting. Emily Risinger and Sara Egan
Chapter 9: Putting Power to Good Use, Delicately and Tenaciously
-Mapping Environmental Injustice. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Kitchen Table Work Session. Diane Allen Jones
-Power Mapping. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Positioning Yourself on the Spectrum of Power and Privilege. Shalini Agrawal and Shreya Shah
-Build Small, Think Structural Change. Laura J. Lawson
-Conflict in Its Time and Place. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
-Organizing a Place-Based Campaign. Randolph T. Hester Jr.
For decades, collaborative design has helped enliven neighborhoods and promote racial, economic, and social justice. But in an era marked by climate change, growing income inequality, and major advances in technology, designers are acknowledging the limitations of public forums and other conventional methods of community engagement.
Edited by six leaders in the field, Design as Democracy reinvigorates democratic design. It offers fresh insights for creating meaningful dialogue between designers and communities in the 21st Century and for transforming places with justice and democracy in mind. Featuring contributions from the most experienced and respected figures in community design, as well as emerging democratic designers, the book presents 60 techniques for engaging with communities in empowering and effective ways. Techniques range from “Cellphone Diaries” and “Cross-Cultural Prototyping” to “The Spatial Design Game” and “Mapping Environmental Injustice.” Filled with inspiration, techniques, and case stories for a wide range of contexts, this essential collection belongs in the hands of anyone striving to create vibrant, important places.
Check out Chapter 1 from the book below.
Katharine is the Publicity & Marketing Associate at Island Press.