January 10, 2010

January 9, 2010

Participatory Design 10 week syllabus

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Participatory Design by Paula Hewitt

10 Session Park Design Program

Students should have a pencil/pen for each session.
Outdoor sessions will meet and dismiss from the schoolyard. Students should dress warmly and be prepared to be outdoors for the full class period.
A trip to a park designed by students is planned in (add date and location)

This outline describes research class activities. The afterschool Design Team will carry out the same activities in greater depth, and will organize, use, and document the work of the research classes.

Before sessions with students begin, the program director and the landscape architect should meet on-site with the custodian and principal. This team reviews a packet of park designs and generates a list of what the students can and cannot include in their designs for the park. This team creates a simple map of entrances, exits, delivery pathways, available areas for the new design, and any specific concerns of the principal and custodian. The landscape architect measures the site and creates a base map.

Week 1:
Morning: Whole school assembly. Slideshow of parks, playgrounds, gardens and public spaces. The slideshow relates these design ideas to the design principles and PD process outline.
Each class:
Meet & learn about Design Team: Students, Teachers, Parents, School administration and staff, Program Director/Manager, PD consultant, Landscape Architect. 10 min.
Go outside, use park, observe schoolday use & surrounding neighborhood..
Afterschool: Play on playground, observe afterschool use & surrounding neighborhood.

Week 2:
Each class (Indoors):
1. Students each receive a Design Sketchbook and a Participatory Design Guide. 5 min.
2. Brief review: list of design principles, and PD process outline from PD guide. 5 min
3. Hands on: Play Model Game (25 minutes)
4. Discuss questions for a brief playground survey, for the school/community. 5 min.
Survey is written, printed, and distributed in this first week, and returned the next week.
Afterschool: In small groups: discuss PD process, timeline, budget, play Model Game, discuss 3D model, prepare and distribute survey.

Week 3:
Each class: (outdoors) Meet classes and dismiss classes from schoolyard
1. Brief review: list of design principles, and PD process outline from PD guide. 5 min
2. Class breaks into 2 groups.
Activity A: Half the class plays, the other half observes the way they are using the site. Adult leaders in each group relate what the students observe to design principles. They make notes in their sketchbooks about what people are doing and where. They note age, gender. 20 min.
Activity B: The half of the class that played before now measure the site perimeter. The group that observed before now plays. Each group measures one side. Students record measurements in their sketchbooks. 20 min.
Afterschool: Play outdoors, observe play, observe and chalk shadows, measure site. Review and discuss survey results, design principles, budget, timeline, and PD process.
Ongoing: Survey results, as they come in each week, are posted in each classroom.

Field Trip
A trip to a completed playground.
The whole team visits a playground designed by a student/adult team (add location and date)

Week 4:
1. Each student receives a simple map of the playground, with perimeter measurements created by students the previous week. 5 min.
2. Small groups: students review in their sketchbooks and show on the basemap:
A) where play and other activities happen now on the map and conditions of the site. Students show this in 2 different colors, for positive/negative activities and conditions.
B) street names, cardinal directions, entrances and exits, delivery and emergency vehicle pathways, and handicapped entrances.
3. A chalk drawing on the board confirms the information in B, above. Students correct any errors on their own group’s base map.

Week 5:
Each class (indoors).
1. In small groups: Students receive base maps of the site, drawn to scale (by the landscape architect or surveyor), with the measurements that have been gathered by students. They receive templates that represent play areas from the survey results. (One set of templates, one map for each group). The survey results are written on the board and discussed. Students receive a copy of survey results to put in their design sketchbooks.
2. Students become familiar with the map and the templates, and what each represents.
3. After organizing templates by color, groups begin to place templates on the map. If groups have generated a design by the end of the session, a digital photo is taken of it.
4. The principal and custodian come in for the last 10 minutes of the session. Several groups present their maps and the principal & custodian give comments on them.
Afterschool: Work on 3D model, collages, bulletin boards, posters (in small groups)

Week 6:
1. In the same small groups as the previous week, students generate designs. Students review survey results from their design sketchbooks, make sure designs meet survey results. (In this week the landscape architect generates 2 alternatives from the digital photos of student design ideas.)
Afterschool: Work on 3D model, collages, bulletin boards, posters, Interview Precinct liaison, parents, community representatives

Week 7:
1. In the same small groups, students review the 2 design alternatives created from their ideas. They generate the one on the model they prefer, and make adjustments to it. The principal and custodian join the class for the last 10 minutes and comment on designs.
2. Students each receive play equipment catalog, and suggested ideas/restrictions (plastic, etc)
Teachers spend time between our PD sessions reviewing catalogs with students, to prep for the play equipment design session.
Afterschool: review design alternatives, complete 3D model, review catalog.

Parents Association meeting: sometime this month.
Students present to community two final designs developed by the landscape architect/principal/student/community design team. In addition to the design presentation, stewardship and community/parent involvement in the completed playground is discussed.

Week 8:
By this week, the afterschool group will have completed a finished 3D model, with moveable templates of play areas.
1. Review 3D model in each class.
2. Play equipment design session. Classes and Afterschool work with playground equipment designer to design playground equipment on CAD computer program. Show location on 3D model.

Week 9:
Outdoors: Classes review public comments from PTA meeting, make final adjustments to design and select the final plan.
Afterschool and classes create chalk outlines of playground design and play on it!

Week 10 (Tue Dec 4) catch up week in case previous sessions need more time
Construction of the playground will begin (add season/year) The new park should be completed by (add season/year).