Participatory Design: History, Examples, and Promise.
Abstract: Through a review of the literature and the analysis of interviews
that were conducted for six unique recreational and cohousing case studies, this thesis
explores the participatory process that is often employed in planning and design. The
thesis seeks to determine how worthwhile the participatory design process is and what
influence the process may have on the perception and use of ... read morethe built outcome. Common
themes that emerge in both the literature and the interviews include the benefit of
ownership and community building that a participatory design process lends to those that
are involved as well as the challenges that consensus decision making presents. Also, the
participatory process must be facilitated well in order to succeed; a failed process can
have just as much negative impact as a good process can have positive impact. It is
important for architects and designers to understand the community context of their
projects, rather than relying on a traditional individual client-architect relationship.
Participatory design is an avenue through which this can be accomplished. The findings
suggest that, despite occasional frustrations, the participatory design process is
worthwhile because it serves to create design that the surrounding community finds
functional and will use and because of the many benefits that participants derive from the
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisor: Christine Cousineau.
Committee: Daniel Abramson.
Keywords: Urban Planning, Design, and Architecture.read less