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Community Building & Co-Design

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

From garden to community garden: a collective experience of the process of building a community.

There are some basic premises when we talk about community. In the literature, community building reflects the orientation whereby the actors of a community commit themselves to work together in the process of community evolution. The logic of community building is to experiment with forms of involvement of different kinds of actors. Community building is by definition the ability to mix actors, systems of rules and logics of action.

The shift from stakeholder engagement to community engagement takes into account the relationships between individuals themselves and between individuals and the context. We have identified three main tools to switch from stakeholder engagement to community management:

  • identifying and caring for community leaders, who do not always co-exist with stakeholders

  • accepting that the final result is not predefined (as in stakeholder engagement) but derives from a maieutic process with the user or communities for whom you are designing

  • leaves a level of empowerment and sense of belonging not otherwise imaginable.

Co-design (or co-creating) is a way to work with the community, of which you are a part, but also to design together the requirements for success and their shared narrative. Including communities while designing allows you to create projects that are more responsive to needs as well as more integrated, with shared impact.


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