Participatory Design

Participatory design refers to design that is a collaboration between participants and designers forming an innovation process, it is not a design style however is focused on the ongoing process. Architects, designers and artist’s attempt to actively work together to ensure that the outcome of a project is not only usable and successful but sustainable. Designers approach citizens and work with them continually throughout a project to provide what the community really needs.

Architecture firm Assemble are an example of a company involved in participatory design. Assemble are a collective of 18 members that work across a field of design, art and architecture formed in 2010. “Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made.”( Assemble, 2017) They attempt to break the barrier between the community and the designers when it comes to projects. They continually ask the people what they want out projects and by doing this a collective vision starts to form between the two groups.



One of their projects Granby Four Streets is a great example of participatory design. Beginning in 2012, this live project in Liverpool is attempting to work with the community and residents to bring back a group of once thriving empty derelict homes and create affordable housing to reclaim the streets. “Assemble worked with the Granby Four Streets CLT and Steinbeck Studios to present a sustainable and incremental vision for the area that builds on the hard work already done by residents and translates it to the refurbishment of housing, public space and the provision of new work and enterprise opportunities.” (Assemble, 2017.) Developers implemented an arts and social hub with a community café, alongside assemble offering employment opportunities, sustaining the resourceful and creative environment that would offer jobs, new housing and a safe environment.



Assemble (2017) info. ( accessed 29.01.17)

Assemble (2017) Granby Four Streets. ( accsessed 29.01.17)

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