Identifying opportunity spaces for design research in South America: Working with grassroots and community groups
Parra Agudelo, Leonardo & Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong (2015) Identifying opportunity spaces for design research in South America: Working with grassroots and community groups. In Proceedings of the XIX Congresso da Sociedade Ibero-Americana de Grafica Digital 2015 [Blucher Design Proceedings, Volume 2, Number 3], Editora Blucher, Florianopolis, Brazil, pp. 724-730.
As design research continues to gain momentum in South America, design researchers and practitioners in the region have begun to consider how to the field may address regionally-specific issues, including on-going political struggles. By bringing approaches such as Participatory Design and Adversarial Design that consider political aspects of design, local researchers have explored various forms that these two approaches could take that are tailored to the needs and values of different communities across the region. This paper focuses on identifying opportunities for developing design research projects in community-based and grassroots-oriented contexts. The paper presents the findings of our study about the understanding and experience of design researchers and experts who have been working closely with community groups and grassroots organisations in South America. Five themes emerged, highlighting opportunities and challenges related to positioning contemporary design research in the region, integration of adversarial perspectives into design processes, leveraging local obstacles through creativity, and the potential of building capacity within community groups and grassroots organisations for sustainability and autonomy.
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