As designers, it is important to be culturally aware of the practices used to work with resilient communities. It is essential to co-design with the community and not for them. The design team was critical in any imperial approaches. It was important for the team to develop trust & immerse ourselves into the community. The approach was first to observe and then proceed into a process of immersion. The design team lived with La Piedra community to understand their challenges and opportunities. From there, community trust was developed allowing design research to take place. Quickly, co-creation led into community implementation.
Research & Activation
Identifying community strengths & generating group discussions geared towards for possible design solutions.
Working alongside community members to provide ownership over design process & tools.
A strength Ángel holds is documenting the creative process. His main contribution to the project was the candid approach to capture the collaboration spirit of the design team and La Piedra community. Collaborating with teamates, Ángel helped develop multimedia documentation to storytell the student experience, but most importantly, the story of Comunidad La Piedra.
In the short three-week experience, the design team and La Piedra community developed a wayfinding system throughout the one-acre community residence. Also, a dual language educational toolkit was developed, alongside a community events board, and a community mural. Other contributions were in support of healthcare awareness and an update Guanin Center’s online presence.