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Fostering creative citizens through co-design and public makerspaces

This project seeks to develop a novel combination of 1) design interventions, 2) public makerspaces and 3) online design resources as a means of fostering creative citizens in China in an inclusive and bottom-up manner. The rationale is that human capital has increasingly become the most important asset of a country and experts argued that the key to sustainable economic growth of a city/country is an ability to attract, nurture and retain a creative workforce. One effective way of promoting and fostering creativity is to actively engage people in creative activities, such as co-design and hands-on making activities.

The project spreads across three years. In Year 1, the team focused on identifying good practices of creative communities and finding out key requirements regarding public makerspaces in China in order to create suitable strategies. The key findings were written up as short case studies.

In Year 2, the team will work with Tongji DESIS to turn their existing makerspace on Fushun Road Community Centre, Shanghai into a Community Creative Hub. The team will also collaborate with Tongji DESIS to create community co-design projects between local residents and Tongji design students to introduce the co-design process to the local communities.

The processes and outcomes of community projects will be thoroughly evaluated to identify potential impacts. Key lessons learned will be extracted to develop suitable strategies and action plans for scaling up. Year 3 will concentrate on developing a strategic design framework with suitable guidelines for developing community creative hubs.

Case studies

Case Study 1: The Remakery

Case Study 2: The She Shed Association

Case Study 3: The Camden Town Shed

Case Study 4: The Building BloQs

Case Study 5: The Goodlife Centre

Case Study 6: Blackhorse Workshop

Case Study 7: The Library of Things

case study 1 1
case study 1 2
case study 1 3
2 case study
case study 21
case study 2 3a
case study 3 1
case study 3 2
case study 3 3
case study 4 1
case study 4 2
case study 5 2
case study 6 1
case study 5 3
case study 6 3
case study 7 1
case study 7 3

Key findings

Principal findings from stakeholder interviews in China

Principal findings from field trips

Principal findings of the co-design workshops


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project


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Project last modified 21/06/2021