Abstract

Cities are developing at a rapid pace. As a result of this growth, the importance of public spaces has increased. This paper intends to discuss the role that elements such as street furniture play in this context, whilst proposing a specific design approach to develop them. It attempts to analyze the distinct user-product relationship between people and the objects that occupy urban areas, and suggest ways to improve it. Co-design emerges as an alternative to involve all the stakeholders in the design discussion. The lay public, city planners, politicians and designers are invited to participate in the creation of pieces of street furniture. The interdisciplinary aspect of co-design becomes evident, once each actor contributes to the process with a different perspective on the urban spaces’ needs. The association between co-design and street furniture development promises to be very beneficial to public spaces. Some of the positive outcomes of this association may be reduction of vandalism and urban alienation, and the enrichment of the community life. The co-design process affects, however, the roles that the referred actors play in the traditional context, and depends on the compromise of some power structures to be successful.

Keywords:

Co-Design, Co-Creation, Interdisciplinarity, Public Spaces, Street Furniture.

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Co-design in Public Spaces: an Interdisciplinary Approach to Street Furniture Development

Cities are developing at a rapid pace. As a result of this growth, the importance of public spaces has increased. This paper intends to discuss the role that elements such as street furniture play in this context, whilst proposing a specific design approach to develop them. It attempts to analyze the distinct user-product relationship between people and the objects that occupy urban areas, and suggest ways to improve it. Co-design emerges as an alternative to involve all the stakeholders in the design discussion. The lay public, city planners, politicians and designers are invited to participate in the creation of pieces of street furniture. The interdisciplinary aspect of co-design becomes evident, once each actor contributes to the process with a different perspective on the urban spaces’ needs. The association between co-design and street furniture development promises to be very beneficial to public spaces. Some of the positive outcomes of this association may be reduction of vandalism and urban alienation, and the enrichment of the community life. The co-design process affects, however, the roles that the referred actors play in the traditional context, and depends on the compromise of some power structures to be successful.

 

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