Design may contribute to democracy by offering its creative and inclusive process: design thinking. This is the building up of ideas and inspirational approaches, evocativeness, experimentation, ambiguity and surprise that can bring different perspectives to co-creative and decision-making processes to which it is possible to enlist holistic/systemic thinking and action competence to promote connections among different people, ideas, intentions, aspirations and place. Democracy, as well as co-creative processes, are relational domains where people can engage with significant others and endeavouring projects through which one can possibly imagine and craft different social arrangements.
To participate in democratic processes may also question the locus of design activity. It can promote a shift from the idea of the act of designing and producing to someone else, by designing and producing with someone else. In this case, the locus of design activity moves from an expert-driven mindset to a co-creative one, and also, put the designer in the situation of the proponent of certain agendas.
Additionally, it may challenge design educational domains by questioning the excessive materialistic aspects and placing emphasis on the creative processes, on designer’s social role and the background and holistic worldviews to be nurtured when dealing with the ecological issues of this century.
Independent Researcher at Quinta do Alecrim
Torres Novas, Portugal
Ecological design Thinking