Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity (Paperback)

Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity By David de la Pena (Editor), Diane Jones Allen (Editor), Randolph T. Hester, Jr. (Editor), Jeffrey Hou (Editor), Laura J. Lawson (Editor), Marcia J. McNally (Editor) Cover Image
By David de la Pena (Editor), Diane Jones Allen (Editor), Randolph T. Hester, Jr. (Editor), Jeffrey Hou (Editor), Laura J. Lawson (Editor), Marcia J. McNally (Editor)
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Winner of the Environmental Design Research Association's 2018 Book Award

How can we design places that fulfill urgent needs of the community, achieve environmental justice, and inspire long-term stewardship? By bringing community members to the table, we open up the possibility of exchanging ideas meaningfully and transforming places powerfully. Collaboration like this is hands-on democracy in action. It’s up close. It’s personal. For decades, participatory design practices have helped enliven neighborhoods and promote cultural understanding. Yet, many designers still rely on the same techniques that were developed in the 1950s and 60s. These approaches offer predictability, but hold waning promise for addressing current and future design challenges. Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity is written to reinvigorate democratic design, providing inspiration, techniques, and case stories for a wide range of contexts.

Edited by six leading practitioners and academics in the field of participatory design, with nearly 50 contributors from around the world, Design as Democracy shows how to design with communities in empowering and effective ways. The flow of the book’s nine chapters reflects the general progression of community design process, while also encouraging readers to search for ways that best serve their distinct needs and the culture and geography of diverse places. Each chapter presents a series of techniques around a theme, from approaching the initial stages of a project, to getting to know a community, to provoking political change through strategic thinking. Readers may approach the book as they would a cookbook, with recipes open to improvisation, adaptation, and being created anew.

Design as Democracy offers fresh insights for creating meaningful dialogue between designers and communities and for transforming places with justice and democracy in mind.

About the Author

David de la Peña is an architect, urban designer and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Davis. His work and practice explore methods by which citizens and designers co-produce urban spaces, with a focus on sustainable architecture, self-managed communities, and urban agriculture in the US and Spain.

Diane Jones Allen has 27 years of professional practice experience in land planning and varied scales of community development work. She is the director of the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Texas, Arlington. Her firm, DesignJones LLC, received the 2016 the American Society of Landscape Architects Community Service Award.

Randolph T. Hester Jr. champions cultural and biological diversity through his writing and built work in complex political environments, from Manteo, North Carolina to Los Angeles and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

Jeffrey Hou is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work focuses on design activism, public space and democracy, and engagement of marginalized social groups in design and planning. He is the editor of Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanismand the Making of Contemporary Cities (2010).

Laura J. Lawson is Dean of Agriculture and Urban Programs at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her scholarship and teaching focus on urban agriculture, community open space, and participatory design.

Marcia J. McNally is a recognized leader in international environmental mobilization and on-the-ground citizen participation. She retired from University of California, Berkeley in 2010 but continues to teach at Berkeley and in Taiwan. McNally now lives in Durham, North Carolina where she runs The Neighborhood Laboratory, an on-demand community design center. 

Praise For…

"This book is a win."
— Planning

"Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity provides a variety of techniques for engaging almost all potential influencers ...Overall, from novice designers exploring to experts working on engaged projects, readers should be able to
conveniently sort through and choose techniques applicable to their interests and project needs...this work can be viewed as a recipe book and also be pleasantly enlightening, particularly for readers new to the subject and those helping others learn and apply the content."
— Landscape Journal

"Design as Democracy is a radical rethinking of participatory design by leaders in the field. Full of invaluable techniques for collective creativity, it is an indispensable resource for all designers who aspire to engage more deeply with communities."
— Anne Whiston Spirn, author of "The Granite Garden" and "The Language of Landscape"

"Good recipes for democratic design are certain to include and be inspired by the diverse techniques and essential ingredients this book brings together. Its many stories reveal the profound power of designing together. Above all, its pages uphold democratic design's value and purpose in co-creating a more just and life-affirming world."
— Paula Horrigan, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University

"Design as Democracy is a timely collection of essays that provides extremely useful techniques and best practices in transactional design, outlines the philosophical tenants that underlie such an approach, and offers international perspectives that highlight our common desire as humans to shape our communities in concert with our fellow citizens."
— Kurt Culbertson, Chairman/CEO, Design Workshop
Product Details
ISBN: 9781610918473
ISBN-10: 1610918479
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: December 7th, 2017
Pages: 344
Language: English