DAY 2- Ethics of CoDesign

Students will reflect on the importance of centering multiple histories, positionalities, and cultural knowledge within codesign projects.

Students will conduct secondary research on the surrounding community and the needs/interests/assets of potential codesigners.


Obj 1: Complete fundamental codesign processes ie. How Might We Statements and Secondary Research

Obj 2: Reflect on and deal with questions of power, empathy, democracy and representation in codesign processes

Opening Activity

Guiding Question: How do we approach a problem as large and complex as climate change in Boston?

Class Check In/
Convergence of “How Might We:” (25 MIN)

  1. Students will answer check-in/icebreaker questions.
    • Ex: What is your favorite place to visit in Boston?
  2. Each group will have 5 minutes in breakout groups to add their "How Might We” (HMW) questions to the Convergence of How Might We Questions Activity in the Institutes’ Day 2 Section.
  3. Groups will share their HMW statements and elaborate in a sentence or two on their thought processes regarding the angle they used to approach the guiding issue: Climate Change & Boston.
  4. Groups will then come together to discuss the similarities, differences, and strengths across the various “How Might We” statements to create one “How Might we” question for the class.

Purpose: Students will experience the negotiation/collaboration procedure at the core of codesign processes. Students will also delve deeper in the challenges and context surrounding contemporary issues affecting Boston and its various communities.

Key Questions & Topics

Privilege / Power
Understanding historical relationships between government, academic, and communities

(social vs. personal identity)

Anti-racist approach + Role of empathy in design

Introduce Participatory Design, PD for Public Policy, Codesign, Feminist HC

Core Activity

Guiding Question: How does one's and others’ identity(ies), history, and privilege shape codesign processes?

Identity, Power, Privilege and Assets: (40-45 MIN)

  1. As a class, students will watch Tucker Bryant - Facts About Myself and have a deeper conversation about identity, power, privilege, and assets.
    • Example guiding questions: What were students’ initial impressions? How do Bryant’s privileges and oppression coexist? How do we deal with that tension in our identities and when in communal spaces?
    • It is important to have a clear definition of privilege. What is privilege? How is it attained? Can it be leveraged? How do we deal with privilege in codesign spaces?
  2. Tie in anonymous questionnaire results to class discussion.
    • How did students feel as they completed the questionnaire? Did they have different reactions between the privileged one and the asset one? Were you surprised by some of the skills listed?
    • Should also highlight that people contain multitudes (privileges, experiences, and histories + assets (technical + traditional/nontraditional skills).
    • Challenge students to think of the various assets that exist beyond professional and academic spaces

Purpose: Students delve into the multitudes within one’s social and personal identity and how that informs their role as a designer. Students reflect on how understanding one's privilege/ assets as well as those of others is at the core of effective codesign processes.

Closing Activity (Reflection & Evaluation)

Guiding Questions: What assets do we bring? What assets do our collaborators/team members bring? What assets do we need ?

Personal and Group Asset Mapping: (30-45 MIN)

Following Identity/Privilege conversation, the instructor will transition focus to assets and their role in the codesign process.

Ie. Everyone has assets; Successful codesign projects consider and effectively use their teams’ and partners’ assets.

To better conceptualize activity, students will be shown examples of visual asset maps. Ex 1: MD Studio Asset Mapping 2020.

Personal Assets Mapping: (15 MIN)

  1. In breakout groups, students will have 15 minutes to create an individual asset map representing the technical, cultural etc. skills/resources/experiences they bring when approaching the class’ “HMW'' question). Students can utilize the asset questionnaire (list version will be provided) as a starting point but they are not limited to the listed assets. They should also consider what skills/assets they think they would need to learn or include to solve their HMW question.
  2. Instructor can encourage the formation of other assets skills by asking students to think of:
    • Hand – those things you can do with your hands
    • Head – those things you are good at with your brain
    • Heart – those things about which you are passionate
    • Human – important relationships in your neighborhood, community, and beyond – people you can ask to get things done
  3. Students are given liberty in terms of visualizing their asset map ie. Students can choose to use Miro, excel, or another tool.

Group Asset Mapping: (15-30 MIN)

  1. After students have completed their individual asset maps, each group will create a visual asset map for their team.
  2. Again, students will consider the variety of assets each student brings and skills/assets they want to learn or include that will help them approach HMW questions.
  3. If there is time, groups will return and share their iterations of their asset maps. Each group has a designated space in Day 2 Miro Frame to complete their Asset Mapping Group Activity (Link here.)

Purpose: Students are introduced to visual asset mapping and gain practice acknowledging the different assets (skills & experiences) people bring to a codesign team

Post Session Work

  • Group Work: Students will create and submit a Community Profile and Asset Map for the predetermined community of interest: their corresponding institution. Guiding Worksheet and additional supplementary guiding documents will be provided to aid their secondary research.
  • Individual Work: Reflection on experience completing Group’s Community Profile Research. Did secondary research help inform your group’s approach to your HMW question? If so, how?