Collaborative Design

July 8, 2021 talyaron
August 22, 2020 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
April 30, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
August 1, 2018 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
June 25, 2018 Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team
February 2, 2018 OmayraRivera
April 26, 2016 OmayraRivera

Collaborative design methodology refers to a broad range of participatory engagement techniques which involve citizens in each stage of the process of a project's drafting and implementation.

Problems and Purpose

Collaborative design covers a broad range of methods and techniques used to engage citizen participants in a project's design process from the beginning. Collaborative design is a broad term that may refer to more specific methods like collaborative planning, events that follow a collaborative design such as hackathons, or approaches to governance and policymaking.

Many methods of participatory governance only involve citizens in one aspect of the process. For example, officials may consult citizens before designing and implementing a project or citizens may be consulted after a range of alternate designs have been drafted. Collaborative design on the other hand, typically refers to methods that include citizens from the beginning — during the initial drafting process — until the end, sometimes continuing their engagement after the project's finalization. 

Origins and Development

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Participant Recruitment and Selection

Participant selection will depend on the kind of design project and the chosen combination of methods and techniques. However, since the method is quite time and resource-intensive, participant selection is usually targeted or drawn from a representative sample. For example, organizers using collaborative design for the redevelopment of an urban area may only select from among those living near to the area or who are directly affected by the construction.

Depending on the specific method or project, collaborative design may involve engaging multiple stakeholders, as in collaborative planning, or citizens and other actors such as researchers, as in community-based participatory research.

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

The process of collaborative design often follows a set methodology which may also incorporate various tools and techniques of deliberation and decision making. For example, multi-criteria analysis or thematic dialogue tables may be used during an Enquiry-by-Design

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

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Analysis and Lessons Learned

Collaborative methods usually have several positive effects on the participants such as increased trust in government officials, belief in the legitimacy of the design and decision-making process, and a heightened sense of ownership over the finished product. 

See Also


Collaborative Planning


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External Links

Analysing participation in collaborative design environments 

Architects and users in collaborative design: