Design Role: Facilitating: Xianqiao Village

(the tools from participative design are used to support interaction and convergence between the parties involved…)

The mutual understanding of stakeholders is something that really oriented the direction of the project.  And it has been one of its main difficulties. In fact most of the village island residents are less educated elder and women, some of whom only speak the Chongming dialect and could not understand the mandarin. How to satisfy the latent requirements, and how to involve them into an active co-design process, therefore trigger the social entrepreneur among the villagers challenged the designers’ creativity.

This represented an opportunity for design to act as mediator by designing different co-design activities to make communication among people as clear as possible. This facilitation activity brought to envisioning scenarios of choice where village leaders, residents, local government business and other societies have affected their relationship to the system in which were operating.

In the Chong Ming case partners are sought from government, community, academic and business levels to brainstorm and conduct workshops aiming at envisioning i.e. building solutions that bring meaning and significance to the local village community and to define e new socio-economical model for them.

For example, empty rooms in house to be used for rental purposes or small business provide multiple kind of socio-economical potential for some residents who may already have the resources to benefit from. Another scenarios is that the production of organic agriculture from communal gardens and field can be the basis for a high quality food brand.

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