|An inclusive and transparent path toward project goals is vital to an informed public interest design practice. Determining appropriate ways to engage stakeholders and community participants can help ensure agency during a project. Through the potential of participatory action, communities are empowered to join in democratic decision making to establish their priorities, define their goals, and build consensus.The designer or design team can function as a facilitator to engage participation. This role requires neutrality—respect for an unbiased and objective process that honors the social and cultural context of the community or audience. Affording stakeholders ways to contribute to a meaningful process of inclusion that acknowledges the diversity of voices and differences of opinions is essential to a public interest design practice.Available time and resources will often dictate methods used. Adapting methods to fit the needs of the project through scale or priority can provide opportunities to reinvent processes. Helping communities envision change is at the heart of these efforts. Synthesizing the outcomes of participation is required to discover connections, patterns, and, ultimately, preferences and needs embedded within the multifaceted design problem.
The following are some of the methods listed in our book Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook. They are grouped according to ways of promoting interaction. Chapters and case studies that utilize methods discussed in this book are cross-referenced and offer a more in-depth and contextually expanded discussion.
Games and Play