Participatory design is an approach where most or all stakeholders are involved in the design process. I first learned about it during an apprenticeship with the Singapore-based non-profit organization Participate in Design. Under the tutelage of Mizah Rahman (co-founder of P!D), I was developed a design brief to rejuvenate the playspace at ORTO Park, a health and wellness destination in northwest Singapore.
The space had previously been identified as one of the park’s “needs improvement” areas. It drew sparse traffic from children, families and youth, and did noth match the lively programming of the entire park. During our research and analysis phase, we involved the potential users of the playspace (families and young children) in its design through case studies, site observation, and in-depth interviews. We presented our findings, analysis and recommendations to the CEO of Fullshare Holdings Ltd, the parent company of ORTO, to propose the construction of a intergenerational playspace on their premises.
I remain an active volunteer with P!D in its community data collection and events on projects such as community art spaces, climate change and public space, and new wayfinding systems.