Collaborative Design and
Democracy

Often, in permanence and ultraconservatism a prominent role is played by the real impossibility of citizens to give their opinion, question and, ultimately, manage change. Recognising citizens’ rights to participate is thus the most effective mechanism in generating social transformation.

There are currently more and more designers who are becoming aware of the need to consult and take into account the viewpoint of the end user or of experts from other disciplines, allowing those visions to transform and improve the design itself. Democracy has made headway in the activity of designing, but it is still true that another major step forward has been taken when we see that on occasion it is design itself that has enabled this democracy, creating mechanisms and strategies that enable the participation of the citizens.

At this session we propose a presentation and a dialogue between two projects, the construction of the Pau School Playground by Raons Públiques and the solutions for the community, by Frugal Digital. Two examples of how democracy is placed at the service of design and of how design is placed at the service of democracy respectively.

02/07

Mazda Space. 19h (C/ Comerç 60)


Frugal Digital. Solutions
for the Community


Frugal Digital is a research group that focuses on searching for methods and practices that lead to creating low-cost digital solutions, particularly suited to so-called «developing» economies. By detecting contexts in which to intervene and developing innovative tools, this research group is providing inspiration worldwide.

Frugal Digital has undertaken projects that allow for social participation and lead to empowering the community. These solutions lead to the democratization of society in an economical and adaptable way, using the resources available in each setting to create valuable and shared communal knowledge.

Vinay Venkatraman
head of Frugal Digital
www.vinayvenkatraman.com
@vinaycph
www.frugaldigital.org

Let's build community by
changing the school yard


The 2009-10 year at La Pau School had received approval from the Department for an integral reform, which could not be carried out owing to the economic situation.

This was the motivation for conducting a diagnosis of needs by the school’s boys and girls and to ask for collaboration for the project from Raons Públiques (Public Reasons) and the Participative Energy Plan (PEP). This is how the project was launched, by training a driver group that would enable the improvement of the school.

During the 2011-13 school year some of the improvement proposals for the playground have already been carried out, such as: building a slide, a sandpit, a mural... all of them festive activities to attract resources and to disseminate the educational project in the district, among others. Many challenges remain, such as improving the playground floor, creating a kitchen garden, a dining hall and a fountain with a suitable infrastructure, plus enhancing the public space (the square) to make it into a reception area for the school’s boys and girls and families.

The outstanding aspect of the project is the fact that it is being carried out in a participative manner, linking up the educational community, providing learning in action while the space is being set up.

It is thus understood that fostering such values in an educational setting, a school, leads us to think of a different city model, one in which people are aware of their surroundings, learn and become involved.

Montse Pedret
social educator, anthropologist and member at Raons Públiques

Lucia Zandigiacomi
architect and member at Raons Públiques

www.raonspubliques.org
@raonspubliques

Presenting and moderating: Xavier Bas.
Curated by FAD within the project FAD. Xarxes d’Opinió · www.xarxesopinio.fad.cat

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