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Friday, June 9 • 10:40am - 11:00am
Community Building through Co-Design

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A reflection on the curriculum development and course delivery of the inaugural Co-Design studio and Co-Design seminar courses at Pratt Institute School of Design, this paper synthesizes the challenges, opportunities, and methodologies of integrating community-partnered participatory design into interdisciplinary design pedagogy.
Structured in four parts, Community Building through Co-Design documents best practices for partnership building, course writing, implementation, and impact assessment of community-based projects within and beyond the gates of academia.

Part I: Connection will reflect on relationship building and project framing with community based organizations. Documenting best practices for ethical communication, project goal setting and avoiding extractive relationships, this section will include recommendations for institutional support of curricular-community partnership building.

Part II: Curriculum Development will focus on the documentation of co-design course writing with and for K-12 schools. This writing will include mapping of overlaps and disconnects between co-design pedagogy for K-12, graduate, and undergraduate students- including interdisciplinary assignments and resources for all participants.

Part III: Course Delivery, will reflect on the experience and takeaways of teaching two community-partnered Co-Design courses and will include recommendations for ethical research practices and facilitation of community-engaged workshops with various stakeholders.

Part IV: Co-Evaluation, will assess the positive impact of the SOD Co-Design courses on project participants, including partner schools, K-12 youth, and Pratt students. This phase will include recommendations for ethical evaluation of course output for a participatory project, tools to establish continuity and information transfer between partners, and suggestions for refinement of prior project phases as part of a reflection on its year-long efforts.

Seeking to amplify and support community partnership as a hallmark of equitable design pedagogy, this paper lays out a framework for sustainable delivery and assessment of community-based participatory design within the academy and beyond.


Irina Schneid

Assistant Professor of Community Engaged Learning for the School of Design, Pratt Institute

Friday June 9, 2023 10:40am - 11:00am EDT
ARC E-02