GeoDesign Knowledge Portal

Participatory Approach

The participatory design approach assumes that there is more than one designer, and that each has a concept about what the future design should be. The participatory approach is based upon the premise that the designers (in this case presumed-to be-direct users of the design) have a sufficient sense of place and time to provide a future oriented design. It is also assumed that a diverse group of participants may not be initial agreement. This is a common circumstance when a committee is formed to make the design. It is also common when the social context of making the design directly involves a group of final-users. The advantage of this approach is its (more) democratic position, based on the ideas that the users know best and that making a design is not such an obscure activity. Its major liability is the need to reconcile the potentially conflicting designs of a large number of participants into one coherent plan that can be implemented. This then also requires application of deductive logic to move from a single design for the future back to the conditions in the present

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