Community Activated Design

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Information about Community Activated Design
Business & Mgmt

Published on July 23, 2009

Author: HuebnerPetersen



Community activated design utilizes collaborative design methods to generate greater community participation and ultimately to facilitate 'change' within the community.

Similar to crowd sourcing, but on a micro-level and with the intent to improve a specific aspect of a community.

Overview of 'Community Activated Design', developed by HuebnerPetersen Creative Director, Clinton Carlson.

community activated design Mass-marketing approaches in micro-community settings are often costly, cumbersome and ineffective in engaging community members in genuine dialogue. The use of creative and collaborative methods can generate opportunities for deeper interaction, greater commu- nity ownership and better development of culture-specific messages. Good design is needed to facilitate these environments. Design that is only focused on the end artifact often results in disconnection with the community. Good design activates the community in the process of design and still results in powerful visual interventions that dovetail with existing interpersonal or organizational efforts to communicate within the community. community activated design Micro-communities such as schools, or- The activation of community members The design of tools that foster collabora- ganizations or neighborhoods require is critical in developing a change that tion, dialogue and democracy —while design of campaigns that work with comes from within the community— creating powerful visual interventions— existing communication networks and methods that initiate community action is vital to the success and replication of internal resources for sustainable impact and participation are important parts of micro-community marketing efforts. on the community. long-term cultural change. clinton carlson mdes, university of alberta (970) 402-2599

testing of methods The objective of this project was to explore how collabora- 3 two-hour workshops tive design methods might generate greater student partici- 3 two-hour workshops were con- pation and input in the design of effective campus health ducted with UNK Health and Coun- seling staff present. communications focused on mental health issues, including 6 suicide, depression, substance abuse, and stress. The project was undertaken on the University of Nebraska at Kearney poster templates (UNK) campus. It consisted of 3 workshops of 6-10 students 6 poster templates were supplied each. The workshops resulted in over 250 unique posters for student use. Each version pre- sented a different message related created by students. The posters were installed temporarily to suicide prevention. Students across campus in high-traffic areas to generate awareness were encouraged to use posters they felt most relevant to the is- and dialogue. sues on campus. 200+ stencils Over 200 stencils were created from related to abstract images or statements. 23 participants 23 student participants selected from 6 poster messages and 6 color variations to generate unique post- ers using supplied stencils, tools or other means. 250+ posters The 3 workshops resulted in over 250 posters that were narrowed down and installed in 6 locations. clinton carlson mdes, university of alberta (970) 402-2599

initial quantitative testing results Qualitative data was gathered through pre and post-test questionnaires. Although limited in scope, a comparison of 50% increase data from both questionnaires across 3 workshops and 23 A 50% increase in the number of participants resulted in several shifts in participants’ atti- participants that felt like they were likely or very likely to talk tudes (fig. A and fig. B). to a fellow student about mental health issues. In addition, compilation of post-test questions revealed par- fig. a ticipants’ feelings and responses to the workshop and related issues. A large (greater than 75%) majority of participants felt the workshops: » Increased their knowledge of mental health 38% increase issues and resources. A 38% increase in the number of participants that felt like they were likely or very likely to refer a friend » Increased their knowledge of design or fellow student to campus coun- and communication seling and health care services. fig. b » Resulted in at least one of their posters being successful. » Were a valuable experience that they would do again and recommend to a friend. » Resulted in posters that would have a visual impact on potential viewers. clinton carlson mdes, university of alberta (970) 402-2599

installation of student designed posters clinton carlson mdes, university of alberta (970) 402-2599

applications Community Activated Design methods have been integrated into suicide prevention and awareness programs at Regis University, Columbia College of Chicago and were carried over into a second year at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Through continued application and exploration of these methods I hope to partner with regional, state or national organizations to: » Give tools to local community advocates » Give ownership to community members » Create highly visible campaigns » Find creative ways for collaborative design methods to assist in cultural change » Make local marketing efforts affordable and easily replicated » Maximize on word-of-mouth communica- tion through existing relationships » Find opportunities to integrate local, micro- marketing methods into larger mass-mar- keting campaigns clinton carlson mdes, university of alberta (970) 402-2599

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