In this design case, we collaborated with social design agency The Beach. The Beach describes their approach as a form of ‘sustainist design’, which integrates social and ecological sustainability and is concerned with connectivity, local values and community as drivers for innovation. In their work they actively involve the local residents in the neighboorhood of Osdorp, Amsterdam, in which they are also based. The AUAS researchers followed the program closely as embedded researchers, documenting The Beach’s way of working, while also challenging the design team to implement our Design Framework for Neighborhood Resilience.
We kicked off the design case kicked with a workshop for the designers of The Beach to become familiar with the framework. We also handed over digital and printed versions of our framework for the designers to work with. For several months, an AUAS researcher was frequently present at The Beach, closely monitoring the program through participating, note-taking and interviewing. This allowed her to document the design process and activities within the ‘Voor Jou, Voor Mij’ program, as well the use of the framework. In the ‘Voor Jou, Voor Mij’ program local women are invited to participate in ‘ateliers’, in which they gain hands-on experience and develop new skills. Activities include cooking, weaving, constructing wooden furniture, creating beauty products and gardening. The aim is to enable participating women to learn, grow, and connect as a group, and to make them aware of their capabilities. Ultimately, the program encourages the women take ownership of their activities and products and turn these into a small business. During the research, we already witnessed this process: various of the women’s activities were combined in order to co-develop a brand for beauty products, called ‘Natur(elle)’.
Download below a report about this design case.