Part I: Co-design, Branding & Insights

As part of a larger project for TransformCity, we designed a co-design session for our stakeholders. I’ve also included the initial promotional content for our project. This project is still in developement.

Client: TransformCity & STEC

Team: Multi-disciplinary design team

Timeline: 12 weeks, still in progress

AMSTERDAM
2021

Organizing Co-Design

Co-design can be a useful tool for a lot of projects. In this case, we are designing a format for community collaboration. The format can be replicated across neighborhoods with vastly different member dynamics, problems and socio-cultural contexts.

To better understand all the elements at stake, we designed a co-design session with our client (TransformCity), an NDSM community leader and an active citizen. All participants had their base in Amsterdam, and were at the least familiar with the current online community participation tools.

The co-design session was insightful, and generated insights on the complexity of extablishing a flat structure in the design of our format. It also revealed participant’s distrust in the municipality, which can sometimes play a role in slowing initiatives.

The format

This format, which we presicely named “Pop-up Town Hall” is a container that is set up in a neighborhood for short periods of time. It serves to house the physical manifestation of community platforms.

It includes analog and digital voting tools, as well as a “Social Design Table” which hosts relevant community data. This data is extracted from the analog tools present, but also from online platforms and municipality statistics.

The social design table is part interactive screen and part analog tools, which we found to be the best balance from our co-design session and qualitative user testing.

Co-design for Co-design.

As the format itself is a framework for participatory design, we felt that hosting a co-design session would be doubly insightful due to it’s nature and to the output of the participants. We carefully designed the co-design session in Miro, paying attention to making it as intuitive as possible for first-time users.

Designing the co-design session was also insightful for our concept, as it gave us the context of the level of facilitation required for setting up co-design sessions. We understood that human moderation would be required for our format to work, but technology would be there to enhance and document the experience.

Further Steps

As we are still developing our format, I can’t outline the precise nature of the concept. However, there will be an updated project in my portfolio of the second phase soon.