Participatory design encourages participation and foregrounds its users. For students of Design for the Living World, this means working with and sharing knowledge with local residents. First, before developing any plan, the students learn about the community’s specific needs and circumstances. The community is involved in the decision-making process as well as in the realization of the project. The project stays in the community and benefits the community over the long term. Finally, the project and its processes are brought back to the class, where they are re-evaluated and presented. With regard to Tromsø – A City as a Garden, the project is presented as the Tromsø Report, the newspaper you hold in your hands.
Why is collaborating important? We believe that the complex challenges we face today demand complex solutions; these can be achieved only by using a diversity of knowledge exchanged between individuals from different disciplines and backgrounds. Diverse knowledge is crucial in ‘redirective practice’ – a collective action that demonstrates the process of cultural remaking. Today, there are many reasons why the sharing of knowledge is necessary, but perhaps the most important is that we feel the world must be reconstructed.