Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Co‐Design and the Collective Creativity Processes in Care Systems and Places

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Abstract:  This article examines the topic of participatory design processes (co‐design, co‐creativity, co‐creation, and co‐production) as tools to promote models of inclusion that benefit people experiencing marginality, and as means to solicit the public dimension of the spaces in which they live and where they have access to their health and welfare services. The topic is addressed through four case studies drawn from the experience of participatory action research aiming at social inclusion and cohesion through an approach based on design anthropology. Following Jones and VanPatter’s (2009) four design domains (DD), the projects discussed in this article are the following: participatory design of devices for people with multiple sclerosis (DD 1.0); participatory renovation of shelters for homeless people (DD 2.0); design and craft led lab aiming at social inclusion (DD 3.0); and innovation of public services for a city homeless population (DD 4.0). All these projects are driven by stakeholders’ demands for a transformation that improves the quality of users’ lives, the quality of caring services, and that they modify, temporarily or permanently, the venues where they take place. In order to support and facilitate this “desire for change,” the projects are based on wide participation and collaboration between many different stakeholders in every phase of their design processes. Methods, tools, and results will be analysed from the points of view of both users (beneficiaries and social operators/caregivers) and designers. Furthermore, the interaction between spaces, co‐design processes, and attendees will be investigated to determine how they contribute to turning those venues into citizenship environments, permeated with greater care and attention.

Keywords:  beauty; caring spaces; co‐creation; co‐design; participation; vulnerability



© Cristian Campagnaro, Nicolò Di Prima, Sara Ceraolo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.