Challenges and contributions of collaborative design methodologies in design for territories
Authors: Carla Rodrigues, João Neves
Abstract: Over the last decades, territories have shown a continuous transformation and adaptation to social and economic relations in order to respond to global challenges. It is therefore indisputable the significance that regions, especially inland territories, play in promoting sustainable development and improving people's living conditions.In the inland territories of the country, it is possible to notice a special attention from municipalities to employ more integrated and innovative approaches, which confirms the importance of defining and adopting strategies to tackle challenges. These concerns highlight the need to better understand the interaction of communities, regional actors, companies and academic and public institutions as a factor for sustainable regional development.It also appears evident in this context, in addition to technology and science, the importance of the emergence of new knowledge practices that broaden processes of thinking, of developing new ideas and of generating innovative solutions. This approach enables us to view design as a practice or methodology which, besides connecting objects with social customs and standards, analyses and develops projects involving the participation of various individuals in a given design process.The ability to lead, analyse and interpret problems is increasingly intrinsic to the practice of design with the aim of solving and testing new ideas for a sustainable society.With this reflection we intend to understand how design can contribute to the development of innovative projects that foster the regional creative sector. To this end, this article analyses territory as a design object and examines how collaborative methodologies, focused on design and targeted at local communities, play an active role in the processes of solving the challenges of these territories.At present, inland territories have been found to have the ability to stand out for their innovative and creative profile, thus becoming excellent environments to sharpen the creation of concepts and projects supporting the idea of doing design for and with society.This document also aims to highlight the importance of the co-creation method applied to territory as an enabler of the relationship between people and places. The involvement inherent to the collaborative process provides a better understanding of the context and local needs, and allows the emergence of innovative solutions, thereby facilitating an integrated and sustainable development of the territory. In light of this, it is important to stress that the new paradigms of design are currently oriented to social concerns through an interdisciplinary and systemic vision, based on a holistic view deriving from more strategic approaches.In short, this article attempts to identify some collaborative practices for the definition and creative resolution of problems, as well as to understand the territorial dynamics and to better grasp the existing relationship between collaborative methods in design and territory management. It is our intention, as ultimate goal, to investigate the feasibility of these methods and their integration in the regional strategies of inland territories with the purpose of supporting and promoting territorial innovation.
Keywords: Design methodology, design for territories, co, creation, inland territories
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