The synergy of a western design approach and local stakeholders’ perspectives, in a community project for situated learning in Ghana

P.G. Jaasma, Y. Lu

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    As effect of globalisation and the economic crisis, development aid has changed (Stoianova, 2012) and international projects and alliances have increased (Aaltonen & Sivonen, 2009). This asks for a new way of looking at and dealing with development, by working together with different stakeholders from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. In this project, a design-researcher co- designed for situated learning with a local community in Ghana to explore how a western Design Thinking approach can contribute to an intercultural collaboration process. The project consisted of two periods of fieldwork, of 3 and 8 weeks. In the end, a local learning centre, Discover Area, was co-founded with local stakeholders and organised by a local committee. In the Discover Area, 14 workshops were facilitated for and by community members (craftsmen, teachers, professors, students, children, entrepreneurs..) based on local skills, knowledge and resources (natural and waste materials). In short, this intercultural project has led to two important conclusions. Firstly it is important to maintain balance in intercultural collaborations, as Trait-taking and Trait- making principles suggest (Hirschman, 2011), letting everyone keep their own perspective, as the confrontation of these viewpoints can become fruitful ground for co-design. Secondly, design has the power to synthesise the discussion of viewpoints into experiential artefacts that can create shared experiences between people of different cultural backgrounds. Therewith it demonstrates possible alternatives and allows people to build their own vision or motivations for the topic and this can contribute to taking local ownership, as the local committee in Ghana demonstrated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Value of Design Research : 11th European Academy of Design Conference, 22-24 April 2015, Paris, France
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event11th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD 11), April 22-24, 2015, Paris, France - Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
    Duration: 22 Apr 201524 Apr 2015
    http://thevalueofdesignresearch.com/think-research-think-design-2/

    Conference

    Conference11th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD 11), April 22-24, 2015, Paris, France
    Abbreviated titleEAD 15
    CountryFrance
    CityParis
    Period22/04/1524/04/15
    Other"The Value of Design Research"
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • Intercultural Design, Intercultural collaboration through Design Thinking

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