How to use this kit

Goal of this kit

The goal of the Community-Led Co-design Kit is to provide an open toolkit for sharing knowledge about how to do co-design that is led by community members and organizations, and to share how this process contributes to the creation of more inclusive designs.

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Who this kit is for

Everyone is welcome to use and contribute to this kit.

We especially welcome those who:

  • Don’t have “design” in their job title. The co-design process can benefit anyone who designs or is impacted by design, which is to say, everyone.
  • Are a part of a community organization or movement. You may be curious about what design entails and how it can be used to create a more intentional and inclusive planning process for anything you’re working on - whether it be a program, a process, or a website.
  • Are designers who want change. You want to critically question the assumptions and methods of design, and want to intentionally develop your practice in ways that prioritize inclusivity and equity.

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What’s in the kit

The kit contains the following types of resources:

  • Guides - these include considerations and suggested practices for specific topics, such as facilitation, remote co-design, or accessibility.
  • Activities - these provide more detailed suggested practices that contribute to making co-design more inclusive. They include things like planning your co-design activities, ensuring accessibility for your co-designers, and identifying your community facilitators.
  • Tools - these are adaptable templates or documents that you can use and adapt in your co-design process. For example, a tool can be a letter template for recruiting co-designers, or a table you can fill out to generate design ideas.
  • Case studies - these provide examples of the different ways that community-led co-design can be practiced, based on specific design projects. The approach can look dramatically different depending on the context of your project, collaborators, and community.

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How the kit is organized

The resources in this kit are loosely organized around the following building blocks of co-design:

  • Partnerships - the resources under this building block can help you to find the people you’d like to collaborate with, who are active participants in their community. You create the project together: what the project is about, what your collective goals and priorities are, and what the scope is.
  • Community involvement - resources found here will help you to bring members of the community you’re working with into the co-design process. Community members can participate in many ways, including but not limited to: planning the co-design process, facilitating the co-design sessions, or being a participant in the sessions.
  • Co-design planning - these resources can help you plan all that is needed for the co-design engagement, including activities, logistics, meeting accessibility needs, scheduling, and more.
  • Facilitation - these resources can help you to create the environment and conditions for participants to be able to fully contribute, and to support community leaders in doing so themselves.
  • Ideas and outcomes - resources found here relate to capturing and working with the ideas and outcomes that emerge from the co-design sessions, including how to document and synthesize them, and how to address questions such as attribution.
  • Reflections - these resources will help you take the time to reflect on the co-design process including what went well and what could be improved for next time.

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Where to begin

  • Read the introduction first. To get a sense of what we mean by co-design and community-led co-design, consider reading the Introduction to Community-led co-design document first. This document provides a more detailed description of our unique definition of and approach to co-design.

  • Browse by building block. If there is a particular aspect of co-design that you’re interested in learning more about, you can start there.

  • Browse by community collections (TBD). We’ve asked some of our community members to put together collections of kit resources that they have found most useful. These include collections for:

    • Beginners - those new to co-design
    • Designers and researchers
    • Community organizations

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