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|Title:||Active learning in a participatory design studio: Enabling students to reach out to communities||Authors:||Jessica Ann Diehl||Issue Date:||15-Dec-2018||Citation:||Jessica Ann Diehl (2018-12-15). Active learning in a participatory design studio: Enabling students to reach out to communities. Great Asian Streets Symposium 2018 - Pacific Rim Community Design Network/Structures for Inclusion 18, December 14-16, 2018. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.||Abstract:||Engaging communities to have a voice in how their live, play and work environments are programmed and designed is a key step toward building more sustainable places. However, the short time frame of single semester design studios makes it difficult to give students adequate time to interact with communities in a meaningful way. This can hinder students’ ability to authentically engage, make sense of, and incorporate community feedback in their design process. Rather than arranging formal charrettes, design workshops and public presentations, I argue that less structure can enable students to engage more deeply. This paper summarizes and reflects on two landscape architecture community design studios: (1) Re-envisioning the cultural landscape of Whampoa, Singapore 2017; and, (2) Designing productive landscapes in Hebbal, Bangalore, India 2018. Drawing from cultural anthropology and ethnographic field methods, students were first introduced to the concept of expert versus local knowledge, degrees of participation, and methods for community engagement from informal to formal, low-tech to high-tech. A student-led workshop was held to deliberate and determine participatory methods, develop questions to be answered, and sort out logistics related to who, when, where and how engagement with the community would happen. Students were responsible for collecting, organizing, and analyzing all community-based data. A subsequent visioning workshop was held to make sense of the findings. Finally, students developed individual design concepts integrating expert and local knowledge that then informed design development. A final student-led class discussion allowed for reflection on what went well, what could be improved, and how local knowledge impacted individual design development. In both cases, students initially felt overwhelmed by designing their own community engagement approach. They didn’t grasp the nuances among different methods related to formal versus informal approaches, sampling and bias, participant fatigue, etc. As they began engaging with the community, the main concern repeated was “do we have enough people”? But, through the progression of the students designing their own approach, dealing with logistics, actually going into the community, and then reconvening and articulating findings, a confidence emerged. We can teach students the value of engaging communities; we can also empower students in the process so they learn not just how, but why participation matters.||Source Title:||Great Asian Streets Symposium 2018 - Pacific Rim Community Design Network/Structures for Inclusion 18, December 14-16, 2018||URI:||https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/154359|
|Appears in Collections:||Staff Publications|
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