Co-design methodology is a practical approach based on facing the challenges of the community involved from the same systematic perspective with which a designer faces and solves problematic situations. To do this, co-design brings together a set of tools -generally visual- to help teams to explore, analyse, identify challenges and develop solutions, in a process in which rational and logical thinking are reconciled with intuitive thinking.
The work stages have particular objectives and characteristics, which can be summarised in the following sequence (Becerra, 2019, pp. 90-91):
Empathise: it begins with a deep understanding of the situation being addressed, the needs of the various actors involved, and also the characteristics of their environment. The challenge is to “put yourself in the shoes” of the people towards whom development will be oriented in order to generate solutions that are consistent with their realities.
Define: analyse, synthesise and prioritise the information collected during the Empathy stage, to select what really adds value and allows building relevant perspectives. At the end of this stage, the specific challenge that will be sought to be addressed through innovative solutions is set out.
Ideate: generate the greatest possible diversity of solution options to meet the challenge. To do this, expansive thinking is activated and value judgments are suspended, so that the creative leap can be favoured.
Prototype: building artefacts – conceptual, functional or visual – that materialise ideas, so that possible solutions can be visualised, while at the same time revealing those elements that must be improved or refined before reaching the final result.
Test: putting prototypes to the test by users involved in the solution being developed, to validate the initial hypotheses. It also seeks to identify significant improvements, bugs to be resolved, or possible deficiencies.
Some skills of participants and organisers contribute to the success when implementing this tool:
URL of the proyect’s website: https://farn.org.ar/coact-justicia-ambiental
UNSAM team acknowledges the contribution of Paulina Becerra (UNQ) in implementing and describing this tool
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