Starting in the Autumn of 2010, the Adaptive Governance Lab at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick has been working collaboratively with local government officials and community activists on action research projects, co-designing with communities in neighbourhoods, villages and city districts. In the public interest design collaboration model developed by the AGL, local communities are involved in designing specific solutions for improving liveability in their areas with the involvement and support of local government collaborators.
The AGL is testing new ways to build strong community networks for greater citizen involvement to influence the design and operation of shared public spaces. The co-design process coordinated by the AGL uses a human-centred approach. Design proposals address the safety and liveability of the area. Solutions emerge through the co-design process with local input and with an explicit agenda to ease the change. The AGL process labelled “Designing with Communities”, includes learning days, workshops and open design critiques. The process allows for a high degree of civic engagement and promotes an incremental approach to change in the built and natural environment using small scale, temporary installations.