What’s homelessness got to do with design?

a man stands in front of a wall covered in bright coloured post it notes which have different ideas and actionsUser-led design is one of the central tenets of universal design. Adur and Worthing Council in the UK needed to address issues of rough sleeping and general anti social behaviour which was costing local businesses. They needed something more cost effective than enforcement. The Design Council, a charitable organisation, came to the rescue. Using co-design methods they involved all stakeholders to “think like designers”. Through the process they were able to identify opportunities to improve challenging situations. One of the many ideas generated was to set up a market stall in Worthing town centre where seven or eight rough sleepers were invited to volunteer to run the stall, source goods and test different types of products to sell. The stall changed relationships and perceptions from antagonistic to positive. You can read more on this interesting and award winning project by going to the Design Council website. The methods used are being replicated elsewhere.

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