Community-led design capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Fonseca Braga, Mariana and Romeiro Filho, Eduardo and Galvão Guimarães Pereira, Haddon and Tsekleves, Emmanuel and L.O. Mendonça, Rosângela Míriam (2021) Community-led design capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In: Design Culture(s). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Roma 2021. Cumulus Conference Proceedings Series, 2 . Cumulus, Aalto, pp. 2165-2181. ISBN 9789526490045

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COVID-19 threats have been impacting disadvantaged communities even harder. This paper looks into challenge areas and community responses to those in Brazilian informal settlements during the COVID-19 pandemic. These were identified through online roundtables with community members and representatives of NGOs in five Brazilian informal settlements. Our findings show how community members unconsciously design, deploying community-led (or diffuse) design capabilities to tackle COVID-19 challenges. These capabilities have been critical to coping with the immediate effects of the pandemic in communities. However, they are limited to short-term and reactive strategies. We argue that these natural problem-solving skills can be enhanced through a transition from diffuse to co-design capabilities to further harness community creativity towards better futures; extending community-led design capabilities into challenges and opportunity areas in a more strategic way for communities. This research contributes to filling the gap in design studies on how and to which extent communities unconsciously design.

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31 Oct 2022 14:15
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12 Sep 2023 03:15