Co-Design is a creative approach that supports and facilitates the democratic involvement and equal relationship between all participants during the entire project-development and decision-making process. A co-designed project stays in the community and benefits the community over the long-term.

Community Empowerment

Community Empowerment is an important goal for social design, reached by providing individuals with a group of people who possess the skills they need to effectively advocate for and enact change in their own community.

Community-Engaged Design

Community-Engaged Design is a term focused on the diverse and integrative participation of the community from the earliest stage of a planning process.


Place-Making counter-balances deterritorialization. It is a practical approach that is part of the process by which a group of people gains recognition in society. Any group that wants their voice to be heard concerning decisions about change in a neighborhood must occupy a physical space. Space matters when it becomes a place. Place-making is essential if people want to have a voice in the impending development of their neighborhood.

Co-Design Process

Co-Design Process helps to ensure that a project meets the needs of those it is meant to serve.

Social Sustainability

Social Sustainability is a term that promotes the importance of focussing on cultural issues within the sustainability movement.


Responsibility is a requirement for social design practitioners, including awareness of the impact of their actions on the common good.

Value-Based Practice

Value-Based Practice is a basic working principle regarding a project mission.


Fieldwork is the sphe- re of activity for social design practitioners.

Action Research

Action Research adds to or replaces academic and other professional research with research done by the community and social designers so that research results both come from and go directly back to the people who need them most and can make the best use of them.

Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing describes a guiding principle for behavior in social design. The credo is that, if you want to bring change to society for a more sustainable culture of living, it is not enough to talk. The hands-on experience, is what matters.

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning enables people to produce solutions to complex challenges. Today, complex challenges require complex solutions, which can only be achieved by utilizing a diversity of knowledge exchanged between individuals from different disciplines and backgrounds.

Relational Object

Relational Object/ Boundary Object is an object that establishes relationships. Relational objects are used by the people in a community as tools for changing their culture of living. They are catalysts of change.

Library of Shared Knowledge

Library of Shared Knowledge implements the idea of sharing and making knowledge public. There are many reasons why sharing knowledge is necessary, but perhaps the most important one is that we feel the world must be reconstructed.

Performative Action

Performative Action is a new way of working together, which benefits us in terms of understanding. Shifting our bodies through action and spatial relations can inform and enhance research. Exploration and experimentation are not the only options for generating excitement over something “new”. Performative actions can be part of a project’s visualization: They demonstrate the process of cultural remaking.


Sharing develops relationships and mutual confidence and is the basis for finding common ground. It is a powerful engine for motivating, creating and balancing the cooperative behavior required for self-sustaining social organizations. Sharing as a form of social obligation that calls for future acts of kindness is expressd in the Japanese word for thank you, “sumimasen”, which means “this will not end”.


Caretakers should be members of the local community and an active part of project development. A caretaker plays an important role in the everyday life of the communIty during and after a project by informing the people of news and changes and taking responsibility for a project’s long-term development.


Commons implies a belief in the power of humans to organize themselves and find ways to manage common goods effectively without privatization.


Working on a Neighborhood-Scale allows social design projects to address tangible challenges and immediate needs. Afterwards, the project can be scaled up, resulting in perhaps an even wider impact.

New Culture of Living

New Culture of Living is the result of a community’s process developing new and alternative strategies and principles to promote their needs and skills for solving future challenges. Local principles of sustainability can articulate a new culture of living from which other communities can learn in the search for a sustainable existence.


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