Young people and co-design

Two male adolescents sit on the kerb looking at the phones. Young people.The views and experiences of young people are often left on the sidelines. Yet they have most to lose or gain in the way society evolves.  So perhaps they should be the ones to craft strategies and approaches for creating the futures they want. Co-design methods are clearly the way to get young people participating in social change processes in their local area. 

A study focusing on young people creating social change using co-creation techniques provides some useful insights. The aim of the researcher’s exploratory framework was to capture the explicit and implicit aspirations of young individuals. This approach also serves to increase our understanding of how to engage with young people. 

The paper explains the methodology of ‘now-wow-how’ phases. This method was selected for accessibility and relevance in facilitating conversations with people unfamiliar with design skills. The co-design process used different tools at different stages. 

A section of the paper is devoted to a critical reflection on what could have worked better. For example the author feels the school-based venue potentially limited explorative inquiries. 

The study showed that exploratory co-creative sessions with young people can yield innovative insights to inform more direct change.  Such sessions require tools that resonate with young peoples’ experiences while also stimulating both critical and creative thinking.

This paper provides details of the project’s structure, methodologies, and outcomes. In so doing, it provides insights into the processes of co-creation within community development and the empowerment of youth.

The title of the article is Young 2.0: advancing an inclusive framework for co-creating futures with youth.

From the abstract

This study presents an inclusive research approach aimed at cultivating inclusivity and co-creating future living environments that resonate with young peoples’ needs and aspirations.

Through co-creative activities, the project captured insights into the lived experiences and future ambitions of young participants. The findings identify some of the entrenched norms and activities that spurred empathy and inclusive thinking through making and enactment.

The project contributes to the initiatives, strategies and methods for young people to shape the future of their hometown. The ‘Young 2.0’ project serves as a microcosm of the potential inherent in co-design to serve as a conduit for youth to express and enact their visions for a more inclusive society.


Accessibility Toolbar