In August 2019 we supported the Community Design and Innovation Workshop that took place in Tumaco, Colombia. During the workshop, diverse teams worked on the design of low-cost technologies, services, and experiences to address local issues or opportunities. A participatory design approach involving grass-roots community members, design, architecture and engineering students and professors, was used to prototype a park, envisioned by a local community of recyclers, fishermen and cocoa growers and their families.


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The TaDIC was an immersive co-creation experience that took place between July 27th and August 12th, 2019 in the city of Tumaco, along the Colombian Pacific. It’s purpose is to amplify local innovation capacities by teaching a co-design methodology through a project-based curriculum.

During the workshop, one of ILIAD’s researchers co-facilitated the work of a multidisciplinary team that included community members from the neighborhood where the project was envisioned. The group performed research through observation, participatory workshops in the community, site visiting and interviews. The knowledge gained form this research phase was downloaded through collaborative meaning-making sessions that allowed to determine the scope of the project and the design needs. After several ideation, experimentation and feedback sessions, the group built a functional prototype of a playground. This unit sought to embody community values that had emerged during the research and serve as a futuring device to help power community visions and efforts towards the park.

The Workshop was organized by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and its local headquarters in Tumaco, supported by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Waterloo, Mount Royal University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Tumaco Diocese.