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A Look Back on Co-Designing with Ben Norskov and Mohini Dutta

This past weekend, an assortment of first and second-year students and faculty gathered together at the DSI studio under the guidance of Games for Impact Instructors Ben Norskov and Mohini Dutta for a workshop on co-design: a process intended to generate capabilities and tools to utilize in their own work practice as they collaborate with communities.

By their definition, the co-design practice hinges on a few core values:

  1. Equity: the idea of designing with, not for
  2. Trust: primarily between stakeholders and designers
  3. Agency: the positioning of the designer as a facilitator, not an expert
  4. Clear communication: keeping processes transparent and well-defined

Students and faculty also reflecting on their learnings and experience with the workshop:

“The design of things, experiences, and people dictate so much of our reality, but not everyone participates in design processes. From this workshop, I understood that codesign is an inclusive practice where everyone’s perspectives and voices are heard; where everyone participates collaboratively to create impact. Codesign isn’t about creating a product, it is about giving people power to share.” – Krutika Galgalikar (‘23)

“Co-design grounds us in the power of collaborative vision and imagination. It can help us actualize equity in our work, while embodying a commitment to sharing power and disrupting hierarchy. In my work with young people, I use codesign as a way to center their brilliance, expertise and magic.” – Mickey Ferrara (‘22)

“The workshop felt like a co-design session we did together to help us learn how to co-design in the wider world. Equally as important, we also discussed the limits of co-design and when the practice may not always be appropriate. It’s important to ask, does this situation need a craftsperson or a co-designer?” – Lee-Sean Huang (Faculty)

We look forward to continuing this work with Ben and Mohini, and for future workshops to come!

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