Spaces of Empowerment: Shaping Inclusive Public Places through Decolonising Participatory Design in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • YEAR
    Evans, Rosie
    Leah, Dr. Adele
    Petrović, Dr Emina Kristina
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Design Thinking and Innovation


How can the architectural sciences contribute to reducing inequalities and thus shape sustainable cities and communities? This paper proposes that one mechanism in this process is to empower people through inclusive participatory design process. In Aotearoa New Zealand this means new ways of designing are needed, that are genuinely inclusive of the public, and rooted in partnership with indigenous people. This paper integrates existing knowledge, original input from indigenous and public architecture professionals, and insights gained from design explorations. It aims to unpack some of the key dynamics in participatory processes in Aotearoa New Zealand. Elements of an integrated framework are proposed, alongside seven actions toward decolonising participatory design that could help shape future design thinking, and thus contribute to strengthening the inherent interconnections between architectural and social sciences. The findings demonstrate the potential to empower communities through genuinely inclusive participation, and the production of distinctive, meaningful public places.

Keywords: Participatory design; decolonisation; public engagement; urban design.


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