Bottom-up initiatives of active citizens are increasingly demonstrating sustainable practices within local ecosystems. Local urban farming, sustainable agri-food systems, circular supply chains, and community fablabs are exemplary ways of tackling global challenges on a local level. Although promising in accelerating towards future-proof systems, these hyper-localized, bottom-up initiatives often struggle to take root in new contexts due to embedded socio-cultural challenges. With the premise that transformative capacity can be co-created to overcome such scaling challenges, the current work addresses the identified gap in scaling bottom-up initiatives into locally embedded ecosystems. While how to diffuse such practices across contexts is not straightforward, we introduce a three-phased approach enabling knowledge exchange and easing collaboration across cultures and ecosystems. The results allowed us to define common scalability criteria and to unfold scaling as a multi-step learning process to bridge identified cognitive and context gaps. The current article contributes to a broader activation of impact-driven scaling strategies and value creation processes that are transferable across contexts and deemed relevant for local ecosystems that are willing to co-create resilient socio-economic systems.
Scaling is a motif describing the proportionate growth of innovation. Over the past decade, scholars have adapted the original idea of scaling from business to differentiate different ways to scale that are more appropriate in the context of social innovation. Scaling is sometimes thought of as a panacea: it is the end result, purpose, or answer to what we are trying to achieve. However, scaling remains ill-defined in systems change: we do not have a commonly agreed-upon language for what we are scaling, where we are scaling, or how we are scaling change in social systems. Instead, systemic designers refer to a mix of jargon from (social) innovation, design, systemic change, and/or transition design. Although these fields share similar ambitions for scaling, we argue that systemic designers need advanced scaling strategies for systemic innovation. The complexity of issues addressed by systemic design requires a better understanding of how scaling systems change happens and demands building capabilities for designing for these different dimensions and directions of scale.
The context of the study is a Master-level course building the capacity designers need to understand when maturing systemic social innovations. Students demonstrated a richness in their scaling strategies distinguishing different dimensions and layers of scale. The current work unfolds dimensions of scaling and scaling strategies necessary for systemic scaling and elaborates upon a multi-level framework for scaling literacy. We conclude with a call for scaling literacy to further advance systemic design’s methodological practices and expand the capabilities and action repertoire of future generations of systemic designers.
Participatory designers have taken inspiration from other practices like the social sciences to develop socially just and horizontal processes to collaborate with communities. In the current work, we take the premise that designers do not have enough means to address concepts of power and politics in design practice. Therefore, we elaborate upon how designers could develop horizontal relationships within participatory design practices. Informed by the legacy of Paulo Freire, a research-through-design study exploring new ways of engaging and interacting with the community has been conducted. The study setup allowed for reflection upon the changing role of the designer in a community context. We conclude with a series of propositions and discuss their contribution to power-balanced relationships in participatory design processes.
An increasing number of social innovators are leveraging cities as urban learning ecosystems in order to experiment with design approaches to tackle societal challenges at a local level. However, the scale and complexity of these challenges force them to constantly acquire new capabilities to advance the local experimentation towards systemic change. We introduce co-design as a transformative community-driven design method to facilitate innovators to continuously identify, connect, co-define, and share with other peers their learning journeys to build capacity over time for addressing societal challenges. The current article elaborates upon a capacity-building framework that not only resulted in elaborate training activities for urban transformations, but also fostered a community of practice that was instrumental to self-sustain a learning network. Results highlight the importance of developing a collaborative learning infrastructure capable of expanding the pool of societal actors contributing to the further diffusion and co-creation of knowledge for urban transformations.
Over the past years, a growing number of local initiatives are generating solutions for societal challenges in their cities. However, the scale and complexity of these challenges force urban innovators to constantly adapt and learn, having to acquire new capabilities that will help them advance towards systemic change. In the current work, we take the premise that these urban innovators need to be able to utilise the urban context as a learning ecosystem in order to push their interventions beyond the boundaries of small innovative niches. In keeping with Schön’s reflective practice, we envisage reflection as a core competence for these urban change makers to grow and present a reflective process supporting urban innovators in framing their professional learning journey to succeed in their projects. A series of online sessions have been conducted to investigate how to scaffold a reflective process enabling innovators to better identify challenges in their projects and the corresponding capabilities they need to acquire. In the proposed paper, we present reflective activities as a tool supporting urban innovators in self-defining their learning journeys and elaborate on the insights gained. It can be concluded that the reflective process we developed was valuable to urban innovators in unveiling new learning needs for their projects, while further research is needed to more effectively translate these learnings into actionable steps to sustain innovators’ self-development.
Over the last decades, values have been re-addressed in planning, policies, businesses, heritage and education. While these fields seem to agree on the importance of values, it is often unclear what actors mean by values, and how they use these values to shape decisions. A decade after a global financial crisis, in the midst of a global pandemic, and on the eve of global climate emergencies, difficult choices need to be made to safeguard a sustainable future. These choices call for value-driven deliberations, especially in the globally connected, multi-problem environment of the port city. To do that, however, stakeholders need to know what they mean when they talk about values, and how to deliberate them. In other words: they need to be value literate. In this article, we study the concept of value and values in the context of port cities in the past, present and future. After an analysis of historical uses of values in port cities, we assess six projects that explicitly and implicitly deal with values in port cities, to explore methods or strategies that can help to elicit values in different phases of decision making processes.
Current open data systems lag behind in their promised value creation and sustainability. The objective of the current study is twofold: 1) to investigate whether existing open data systems meet the requirements of open data ecosystems, and 2) to develop a research agenda that discusses the gaps between current open data systems on the one hand and participatory, value-creating, sustainable open data ecosystems on the other hand. The literature reveals that the main characteristics of value-creating, sustainable open data ecosystems are user-drivenness, inclusiveness, circularity, and skill-based. Our comparative case study of five open data systems in various application domains and countries highlighted that none of these systems are real open data ecosystems: they often do not balance open data supply and demand, exclude specific user groups and domains, are linear, and lack skill-training. We elaborate on a research agenda that discusses how research should address the challenge of making open data ecosystems more value-generating and sustainable.
“Are we on the same page?“ is a framework and toolkit that enables social innovators and their stakeholders to reach common ground by applying the concept of Fruitful Friction.
Contributing to the broader concept of a sociable smart city enabling a transforming society into a more participative domain where innovation takes place, the chapter addresses the economic revitalization of Middellandstraat, a multicultural shopping street in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Through a growing influx of immigrants, Middellandstraat has evolved into a unique multicultural neighborhood with a similar mix of shops. This chapter aims to push the current envelope of the smart city debate by adding a culture-sensitive design perspective on placemaking. This elaborates upon learnings from a local contextually grounded design project in the context smart city revitalization challenge and promotes design as a means to improve and revitalize the street. After presenting the rich insights of the contextual study, the chapter describes the findings of the culture-sensitive design approach following its four stages and the resulting concept, called SmaakReis. Next, barriers and enablers of culture-sensitive design are discussed along five themes that are found key in designing for the revitalization of the shopping street and reflect on the value of design and cocreation. Based on the lessons learned, the chapter concludes with ten guidelines for smart urban design and implementation. It can be concluded that SmaakReis was helpful in codesigning futures with the local stakeholders and enabled them to act on the designed smart city vision in aligning their strategic activities. Interestingly the implementation of the SmaakReis concept in one of the local restaurants stresses the importance of capacity building and the relevance of the guidelines for cultural and local embedment.
Social innovations are promising to tackle today’s complex global challenges on a local scale; Especially when social innovations scale and their impact can generate a societal transformation. The current work elaborates on scaling deep, a specific scaling strategy aiming to shift cultural values, mindsets and beliefs. However, how to apply this in practice is not straightforward. The current work, therefore, aims to develop an actionable strategy that supports social innovators in their scaling efforts. Our research findings show that scaling deep can be defined as an 1. internal transformation process, 2. a social process, 3. friction being an enabler for change
Second, these insights inform a framework that makes scaling deep more actionable and helps social innovators to use fruitful friction as a strategy to scale deep. The current study adds a new viewpoint to the scaling deep context and presents a concrete starting point of the scaling deep strategy by linking it with the creation of common ground.
“Off to new shores!” is a two-hour, interactive online workshop, participants will sail together to common ground and co-create a shared understanding of central concepts regarding a provided case. Participants learn and apply the concept of fruitful friction and use the metaphor of sailing. Fruitful friction is a concept that deliberately triggers people to express their implicit perspectives to create openness and awareness about different aspects that are usually not put on the table.
“Off to new shores” complements the theoretical elaboration of the RSD10 paper, Fruitful Friction as a Strategy to Scale Social Innovations.
Circular economy has gained traction within companies resulting in many exploring new
product and business model combinations. Yet, to transition towards a circular economy on a societal
level requires going beyond new product and market-based opportunities. To enable societal level
change, ecosystem-level innovations are important and so collaboration plays a key role. Cities are
considered in this paper as hubs of innovation playing a key role in transitioning to a circular economy.
They are responsible for 80% of global resource consumption, with a high concentration of capital, data
and talent spread over a relatively small geographic area; making them an important part of societal
level transitions. The current work stresses the need to understand and support collaborations in
transitioning towards a circular economy. This paper explores what factors influence collaborations and
how organizations collaborate for a circular economy in the context of cities. An initial literature review
resulted in a framework for exploration, which informed the set-up of the questionnaire. This helped in
conducting semi-structured interviews with people ranging from founders, designers to engineers from
six circular start-ups, which operate and utilize the resources in cities; to understand how different
organisations collaborate in cities. Results showed they focus on operationalizing their innovation
through engagement with various stakeholders. As they increased their visibility in cities showcasing
their value, increasing the ways and number of engagements, the organisation engaged with people
and organisations having similar values and grew by scaling through engagement. This paper
elaborates the idea of scaling through engagement as a way for circular organisations to scale.
Sustainable innovation and transitions are increasingly gaining traction within academia, industries, and policymakers. Despite the research efforts, sustaining innovation and operationalizing transitions still remains a barely explored field. The pragmatic step from understanding towards doing is often not made explicit in the literature. In fact, it results in an unclear and vague grip on how to operationalize these understandings, or differently put on how to make this understanding pragmatic. In the current article, we conducted an integrative literature review using human-centeredness lenses that informs the so-called ‘Human-Dimension’ framework. We argue that adding the Human-Dimension to the existing models for analysis, such as the Multi-Level Perspective framework, might clarify the different meanings that emerge within the network of actors in a transition, and knowing how to translate those individual meanings towards a collective construction of meaning might be enabled. To illustrate the framework’s contribution, we applied it to the context of a local sustainable development project. The results show how human-centeredness could serve as a domain to make the Human-Dimension of sustainable transitions actionable.
Even though, living labs have always referred to alternative futures, this chapter explores how capacity for future thinking can be enhanced in living lab practices. The aim is to advance current smart city visions through establishing bottom-up participatory innovation paradigms. We introduce Citylab Rotterdam, as a platform for participation and co-creation, where students, researchers, and teachers, co-create with local entrepreneurs, civil agents, and citizens, to rethink the future of Rotterdam. In this way, we take stock of the accompanying living labbing approach, which is rooted in the local social infrastructure of Rotterdam. Through deliberate training, insight-giving, and anticipation capabilities, we aimed participants to become more sensitive to identifying weak signals for significant change. And consequently become smarter citizens with future thinking capability, empowered to contribute to the smart city debate.
In keeping with the participatory turn, the current work discusses how a double-layered design approach can bring participatory design principles to the policy domain, illustrated by our experiences in a design project for the municipality of Delft, the Netherlands. More precisely, the approach described is double layered in nature, comprising of the Double Diamond design process, which aims to provide structure to the process, while the inclusion of the Frame Innovation method, aims to provide inspiration. First, this elaborate method is motivated in the context of the municipality of Delft, supported by current streams of literature on participatory design. Next, we present findings highlighting three pivotal moments experienced as a result of using this approach. By engaging in a reflective practice, key learnings and insights gained from the implementation of the approach are presented, as well as conclusions and recommendations for the field of design research within participatory design.
The increasing availability of large-scale datasets such as sensor data or social media data and increasingly accessible data science tools create unique opportunities for design. However, the relationship between data science practices and design methods is still underdeveloped. In this paper, we propose that data exploration activities can be effectively embedded within a broader design inquiry framework and define a new design method, coined Data Exploration for Design, to support methodical designerly data exploration. The design method addresses the novice’s learning curve and supporting developing a data exploration inquiry mindset with procedures and curated tools. The empirical evaluation highlights support for producing exploration outcomes that are worth the additional technical effort. We close the paper by positioning the findings in design methodology literature and motivating data exploration principles for design inquiry. The principles urge to acknowledge biases in data collection, spending time with the data, using visualizations as a means-to-anend, and designers being part of the data collection.
Port cities are a particular type of territory and are often long-standing examples of resilience, bringing opportunities, wealth, and innovation to their nations and their citizens. They have developed at the crossroads of international trade and commerce and the intersection of sea and land. Flows of people through trade and migration have played a key role in their spatial, social and cultural development. Their strong local identities share legacies of diversity and cosmopolitanism, but also of colonialism and segregation. The Qingjing Mosque in Quanzhou, Fujian speaks of the exchange between Arabia and China along the maritime silk road. Hanseatic cities stand as an example of far-flung networks with districts for foreign traders—think of the German merchants who established Bryggen, the German dock, in Bergen, now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The complex social challenges we face today require new solution strategies and action perspectives, both at a social and an individual level. New ways of working together are needed to ensure that the city is and remains a healthy place to live and a high quality of life, without depleting natural resources. A new approach to collaborative urbanization embraces a co-creative attitude and requires a social infrastructure that supports such a participatory approach.
Nowadays, wicked problems require society to seek for long-lasting transformation by applying diffuse creative competencies. Children's abilities could flourish by practice and lead to profound social change. Nevertheless, children's involvement in practice-based innovation is still limited. The current work investigates strategies to create arenas for children’s participation, without a top-down involvement from the institutions. A research through design study was conducted within a municipal social innovation project, to explore how 6 to 12 years old children can activate towards change-making in their community. In a series of participatory design interventions, a preliminary children's activation journey has been iteratively prototyped, informed by child-led dimensions and creative flow. Children’s role in the journey is discussed to provide further research directions. It is concluded that the method represents a viable access point for children's bottom-up participation in urban activism.
Public management needs to keep pace with contemporary problems and harvest capabilities to meet future scenarios. Consequently, practitioners in the public field must advocate for critical discussions and engage with people who are going to benefit from their guidance. The purpose of the current research is to investigate strategies to strengthen public management by exploring the potential of Design Thinking as a policy competency. A participatory design approach has been selected to co-create a learning environment for building design capabilities. In other words, a safe space that allows for sharing and nurturing knowledge, skills and attitudes. The setup of the participatory process entails a thorough exploration, in which a team of seven public managers of a regional association of municipalities participated. In four participatory sessions, a learning space has been iteratively prototyped, and finally evaluated in the context. Advantages and challenges to the selected approach are discussed to provide guidelines for a practical application and replication of the process within the target domain. It can be concluded that design interventions developed with the current integrated design approach have demonstrated viable opportunities for capacity-building in public management.
This workshop is concerned with the potentials and barriers of data in facilitating bottom-up innovation. We focus on two specific communities that could benefit from utilizing data, but may struggle currently. Firstly, civil society participating in grassroots actions, who use public data for innovation and to strengthen their advocacy. Secondly, organisations - especially SME's - who want to make use of data, especially large complex data sets, to design data-driven services.
The current work investigates how creativity manifests when designers use data work in the early phase of design. Designers are increasingly interested in utilizing the massive amounts of data surrounding our everyday lives. However, data work is still challenging to incorporate into the design process. In this paper, we present a case study with three novice design teams who were tasked to integrate data work into their design process. During the study, we observed how creativity took place in framing a design problem. We present and discuss their actions from a creativity process perspective, highlighting how they used and rationalized data-inspired inquiries creatively in the early phase of design. The current results inform the development of a design framework to structure data work methodologically and coherently into design processes. We coin this design framework Exploratory Data Inquiry.
Even though emerging city-makers are increasingly organized to trigger social changes, it is still hard to apprehend their real power to transform space and the way we live together. In this chapter, we explore how designerly approaches, such as hacking, making, and prototyping, can empower emerging city-makers to trigger a broader change and transformation process. It can be concluded that hackable city-making can make a difference when combining top-down public management with bottom-up social innovation. A patchable plug-in platform might enable emerging city-makers to create value for the city and for society. However, it asks for new ways of participatory governance that enable these emerging, heterogeneous city-makers to participate actively in exploring the collaborative envisioned potential and to have constructive dialogues aiming for transformational change for the common good.
This paper investigates the opportunities of leveraging a hackathon format to empower citizens by increasing their abilities to use open data to improve their neighbourhoods and communities. The presented discussion is grounded in five civic hackathon case studies organised in five European cities. The research revealed specialised learning and collaborative alignment as two mutually complementary aspects of the involved learning processes, which were achieved with the help of high-fidelity and low-fidelity prototypes, respectively. Consequently, the paper identifies and discusses three main factors required to sustain social learning ecosystems beyond hackathon events, and with the purpose of democratising smart city services. These factors include a) supporting individuals in obtaining specific expert knowledge and skills, b) nurturing data literate activist communities of practice made up of citizens with complementary expert skillsets, and c) enabling members of these communities to generate prototypes of open-data services of varying fidelity.
The focus of design studies has shifted from a product-centric perspective to a perspective in which value is defined by and co-created with the consumer, rather than embedded in the output. The reasoning hence focuses on the interplay between innovation and design processes. Moving from an earlier conceptualization of design-driven innovation, the attempt is to define the space of interaction between the different components of the innovation process. In this way a 3D innovation space can be sketched where different practices and experiences can be mapped. Through this exercise the key hypothesis of this work is empowered: no innovation is possible without design.
The current work explores the participation divide that is oftentimes at play within local citizen communities. The studied case illustrates a common situation where the majority of local citizens does not participate in public space improvement and maintenance activities organised by local community activists. The presented research involved semi-structured interviews supported by interactive service design probes. It has led to two strategies for stimulating community participation, namely 1) increasing transparency around community activities, and 2) embedding community participation in citizens' daily social practices.
Today, citizens, professionals, civil servants, social enterprises, and others form different types of coalitions to overcome the challenges facing our modern cities. In this paper, the particularities of these types of groups are characterised and categorised into ten different types of city makers. Generally, these types of city makers bring value to cities, but we conclude that this value could be enriched through more participatory approaches that stimulate crossovers and accelerate the transition towards sustainable futures. Therefore, we characterise the different identified types as potential ‘participatory’ city makers. However, these participatory approaches and the networks between them still need to be developed, while improving conditions and dynamics that can enable and enhance innovation in urban environments. Design and systems thinking could contribute valuable methods and perspectives to the development of these participatory and systemic approaches. Finally, the categorisation presented in this paper must enable a better understanding of the transformative capacity of these different types of city makers, necessary for flourishing and sustainable communities.
Along with the urgent need to reinvent our society, a series of paradigm shifts are already shaping transitions toward a more participatory and digital society. The current work takes stock of the promise of open data as a new resource and elaborates upon the maker movement, which has spurred people’s capacity to participate and has provided tools and infrastructures to unleash people’s intrinsic ability to create and innovate. We explore how open data can be a new commons, discuss how hackathons can support digital citizenship, and reflect on the role of Transition Design in creating ecosystems around the common resource and in building capacity.
Cities are increasingly seen as having an important role in tackling societal challenges related to climate change, while open innovation is increasingly accepted as a new way of working for governments. In the current work, we explore the role of open innovation to tackle global challenges on a city level. In the context of the city of Rotterdam and its vision on sustainability and liveability, seven collaborative initiatives are introduced. These initiatives aim to address both sustainability and liveability goals. Our research shows that in order to have these initiatives contribute to the overall municipal goal on sustainability and liveability, the municipality needs to take different roles. Whereas traditional open innovation literature usually distinguishes three main types of open innovation, namely outside-in, inside-out, and coupled processes, the current study shows that open innovation for sustainability in the city needs a much more fine-grained and elaborate perspective; a multi-level open innovation model that allows for different co-creative partnerships joining forces in sustainability challenges. It can be concluded that governments have a key role in infrastructuring these co-creative partnerships.
We are living in transitional times. Much has been under debate on the need to change and to cope with societal transitions, less emphasis, however, is devoted on how to do so. Therefore, one of the primary questions in Transition Design is how to design for sustainable transitions? The current work aims to evaluate ‘transition design studies’ by analysing and evaluating the current available practice of transition design in order to contribute to the field in two ways: first, by maturing through evaluation, and second, by identifying points of further research. Our findings show that three phases can be distinguished within transition design processes: Design research to understand past, present, and to envision the future; Designing interventions to create the right thing, at the right place, at the right time, and Design practice for transition that accumulate the design interventions in order to drive societal transitions.
Although Value Sensitive Design offers a theoretical and methodological framework to account for values in design, many questions and controversies are left. The current work aims to contribute to this value debate, by taking stock of large Research through Design (RtD) programs including their developed artifacts, to explore to what extent the explicit and tacit knowledge generated enabled actors to make public and cultural values explicit. Differently put, seven ongoing RtD projects have been studied in an elaborate RtD process articulated in three phases, differentiating in their focus: 1) understanding the values involved in the RtD projects; 2) share insights to steer peer debate on Research on Values, and 3) co-analyse the data and generate further insights. The current research brings forward two main contributions to the RTD community. On the one hand, using ongoing RtD projects in an RtD approach provides a kaleidoscopic perspective on how research and design constantly inform each other through the application of design. On the other hand, the adoption of this kaleidoscopic RtD approach in the context of multidisciplinary research on values acts as a catalyst that generated knowledge and insights to stimulate the debate on accounting values in design research.
Citizens and urban policy makers are experimenting with collaborative ways to tackle wicked urban issues, such as today’s sustainability challenges. In this article, we consider one particular way of collaboration in an experimental setting: Urban Living Labs (ULLs). ULLs are understood as spatially embedded sites for the co-creation of knowledge and solutions by conducting local experiments. As such, ULLs are supposed to offer an arena for reflexive, adaptive, and multi-actor learning environments, where new practices of self-organization and novel (infra-) structures can be tested within their real-world context. Yet, it remains understudied how the co-creation of knowledge and practices actually takes place within ULLs, and how co-creation unfolds their impacts. Hence, this paper focuses on co-creation dynamics in urban living labs, its associated learning and knowledge generation, and how these possibly contribute to urban sustainability transitions. We analyzed empirical data from a series of in-depth interviews and were actively involved with ULLs in the Rotterdam-The Hague region in the Netherlands. Our findings show five distinct types of co-creation elements that relate to specific dynamics of participation, facilitation, and organization. We conclude with a discussion on the ambivalent role of contextualized knowledge and the implications for sustainability transitions.
Mundane cities are challenged to design for unpredictable and rapidly changing futures. In the current work, we refer to these challenges as a collaborative design challenge and explore how co-creative partnerships can enable a participatory turn by estab- lishing a new social infrastructure. The corresponding citizen-centred design approach offers a variety of design opportunities to engage with citizens, to empower all involvement, and enabling a social fabric to be increasingly reflexive and responsive. Through the illustration of three collaborative design studies in the public realm, we explore how design can act as a strategy towards a transforming society. It shows that participatory designing enabled empowerment across the co-creative partnership, though it also calls for strategic guidance in order to sustain transformational change. We end with an elaborate discussion on the role of strategic design in facilitating the interplay among new coalitions of city makers towards a transforming society that embraces sustainable social innovation. It can be concluded that co-creative partnerships can act as network designers, capacity builders, and enablers of transformational change, and have the potential to act as change makers, driving sustainable social innovation
The current work elaborates upon a Generative Data Exploration method, which is a design technique aiming at supporting designers in integrating data in their design activities. Digital data offers new opportunities in all sort of professional domains, yet existing approaches and tools to manipulate data are predominantly targeted at data experts. As access to data is becoming democratised, new types of techniques are needed to leverage the agency of designers and to empower them to utilise data in the design process. Designers without prior data experience can benefit from the techniques, know-how, best practices of experts, if such expert knowledge is codified in design methods and tools. The aims of a Generative Data Exploration method are two-fold. First, the method facilitates a learning curve on gaining holistic data literacy. Second, the method supports designing where digital data, exploration of data and sense-making of data is part of the process.
This Conversation aims to explore the relationships between design education, design practice, and social change. To achieve this aim, the Conversation will bring educators and researchers from a variety of disciplines together to foster new exchanges and collaborations, allowing us to better explore questions about what it is that we learn when we learn to design, why that is, and what impact that has on our societies. During the Conversation, audience members will work in groups to create “prototype” research articles responding to themes and provocations proposed by the convenors.
This article aims to unravel the tensions that obstruct participatory city making: the processes in which government, entrepreneurs and citizens co-create new solutions for urban challenges. Participatory city making is explored and conceptualized through an empirical grounded study of local civil servants and citizen initiatives in Rotterdam. Through interviews and a set of three workshops the practices of these city makers are studied. A need for more transparency, influence and exchange was identified. The value of design is explored in general, and specifically the design of possible tools and interventions, to address the identified issues and tensions. This exploration shows that design-enabled interventions could, on the one hand, by `infrastructuring', anticipate on the diffused design activities of individual actors in the urban context, and on the other hand, the use of these tools and interventions could promote participatory approaches among the different city makers towards urban sustainability transitions
The recent developments in data science and end-user data tools indicate an opportunity for designers to adapt new data tools for design enquiry. Data has an unquestionable role in the future of the design practice for creating new digital products and services. Today’s data deluge also opens up new ways of enquiring about the world through data. The current work explores how designers could appropriate a data science workflow in their design research process. Two studies are conducted to explore how a data science workflow could be adapted into a design research process. We present how the participants appropriated data techniques for creative uses and how they synthesized a data-centric enquiry into their research process. We found that designers appropriate data using their creative capacities in hypothesis forming for data collection and exploratory data analysis, and we highlight some implications of this. Our findings can inform the design space of the creativity support of future data tools and future data-centric design methods.
In Rotterdam, the participatory turn has spurred various bottom-up communities around
public parks. These communities aim to take care of the parks in their neighbourhood and
search for ways to demonstrate the societal value of their initiative. The current work
explores how digital matchmaking services can strengthen community relationships. A
research-through-design approach is applied to identify the main barriers hindering
community participation. The final design Park Makers uses both Citizen-to-Activity
matching and Citizen-to-Citizen matching as ways to engage citizens in the community. The
corresponding research demonstrates that connecting park users (or better: future
volunteers) with another citizen or activity matching their personal interest fosters
community engagement. From this point of view, it might be interesting to focus further
research on the potential value of other matchmaking principles, or even other services, for
bottom-up citizen communities.
This chapter elaborates upon the maker movement and the corresponding access to digital fabrication techniques, while viewing intrinsic motivation, the unleashed ability to make and create, and the increased digital literacy and skillsets as key to successful inclusion and participation in society. Two social living labs driven by local youth communities in the Netherlands are reported in which we have activated hidden talents using the transformational role of digital fabrication. We introduce the designed platforms that steer bottom-up participatory innovation and social entrepreneurship, discuss the findings as well as the particular context and approaches used and elaborate upon lessons learnt for sustaining and scaling these communities of practice. In particular, we reflect on the value, opportunities, and guardrails relevant to keep in mind when promoting transformational social innovation through making and cocreative activities.
The “Maker Movement” signifies emergence of a cultural model of a society where anyone can become a creative maker. As part of this movement, various kinds of “Makerspaces” provide physical and social infrastructures that help unleash people’s intrinsic abilities to make, create, and innovate. In this way, makerspaces become loci where maker communities develop as communities of interest and communities of practice. In such communities, participants acquire skills and knowledge through selfdirected peer-learning and learning-by-doing, while leveraging each other’s practical expertise, individual motivations and enthusiasm. The presented work elaborates upon how maker communitieswithin academic design engineering education and everyday-life contexts could better support their participants’ self-directed learning. Throughout two independent researches through design case studies, we investigated how these learning processes could be improved. Both cases involved the iterative development and assessment of service platforms for supporting the social learning processes of makers. One platform focused on documenting and sharing skills of makers, the other on documenting and sharing the making processes leading to a given artefact. Reflecting on the two platforms revealed two distinct aspects of encountered learning. The first aspect involves deepeningand mutually encouraging development of individual expert skills. The second aspect involves multidisciplinary alignment during collaborations and peer-learning within a maker community, performed in teams encompassing complementary skills. The lessons learnt lead to proposing a conceptual framework, which aims to provide a support structure to improve self-directed social learning processes in makerspaces.
The paper "Rethinking Design: A Critical Perspective to Embrace Societal Challenges" has been presented in the opening panel of the symposium "Can Design Catalyse the Great Transition?" Ingrid Mulder and Derk Loorbach are thought leaders at the frontiers of systemic design and transition management, a field which has been developing in Northern Europe in recent years, and has now been integrated into Transition Design. This discourse focusses on the process and dynamics of transition of large-scale socio-technical systems (infrastructures, technologies, systems of consumption and production and related institutions) over long periods of time. Ingrid and Derk argue that we need to completely reinvent our socio-technical systems if we are to meet the challenge of moving towards more socially and ecologically sustainable futures. This presents “a collective societal design challenge...processes of societal experimentation, iteration, prototyping, and scaling ...guided by visions and future images [we need to] rethink design thinking and the design profession”. They discuss the Multi-Level Perspective, a tool for analysing how socio-technical regimes (such as energy, transport and food systems) come under pressure from ‘landscape’ events beyond their control, but can be penetrated and ultimately transformed by ‘niche’ experiments. This is a long-term, non-linear process that calls for a new, expanded way of designing that is orientated by future images and backcasting, and that looks to cultivate niches that may eventually develop to challenge regimes. This analysis is applied to design itself: niches need to be developed within the design regime, so that it undergoes “a transition toward a field of transition design”. In the context of the transition of socio- technical systems, the developing practice of participatory city making is discussed. This brings together transdisciplinary groups of “professional designers, academics, policy makers and citizens” to “combine top-down management with bottom up social innovation” who can collectively explore and develop radical, experimental, niche alternatives. It is clear from this paper that there are vital connections to be made between the realms of academic and professional design and the scholars and researchers within the Transitions Management field.