2017, for me, was a year in which I expanded my understanding of and experience with community-driven design processes. My education, background, and recent experience have all involved creating with communities, and this year, I was given the opportunity to go above and beyond:
- In two days in Athens, 150 participants created a vision for the future of libraries in a workshop I facilitated. Wow! It didn’t stop there, though. The ensuing project has already brought together tens of thousands of people from 213 countries in a dialogue about the future.
- In a series of workshops, this year drafted a shared vision for a new museum in The Hague.
- In an exciting and dynamic social context, we co-created a digital strategy for a new heritage centre in the UK together with stakeholders and its community.
- But also, in 90 minutes we developed games to make heritage more accessible, we co-created a thrilling potato exhibition with Polish heritage professionals and brought together some of the smartest people on earth to develop a vision on the future of nature. Etc. Etc.
In addition, I was allowed to visit or sit on the sidelines of many other inspirational projects: Story House Belvedere (image above), the Little Museum of Dublin, and our own Museum of Languages in Leiden.
I learned a lot, but my key take away is, that under the right conditions, every person has a valuable contribution to make. Cultural institutions are near perfect places to create these right conditions. Often we provide safe spaces or meeting zones; we have typically curious staff; and conversation starters in our collections. We can apply these assets to our development as much as to the development of our communities and even societies. Continue ReadingRead More »