NextDoor Quartier: Teaching young designers social conscience

Year: 2010
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Tomico, Oscar; Kint Johanna; Ferwerda, Inge
Page(s): 388-393


The NextDoor Quartier project gave the opportunity to students of communication design and product
design to experience the societal relevance of their work. They had to dive into the implications of
trying to deal with cultural differences knowing that their decisions will have an impact and can't be
pulled back. Results from the two groups of 8 students (4 industrial design, 4 communication design),
showed the importance of learning by doing as the main driving force for social understanding. By
confronting young designers with their own beliefs as a person, they were able to improve their social
conscience at the same time that they design for a specific social group. Involving the community in
Brussels North proved to be key to develop this project. The active participation of the inhabitants
worked as a catalyst to create synergies between content, context and locality that define a specific
intercultural context. The results of the project were delivered by means of installations or experiential
prototypes. They publicly were displayed in the city of Brussels (Brabantwijk).

Keywords: Social design, cultural differences, societal relevance


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