Alone and together
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2017 Seo
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Product and Spatial Design
AbstractThe study examines the designer’s roles within a community, endeavouring to build solidarity among inhabitants, actors and stakeholders by encouraging active participation. The project originally began with a personal journey in 2013, to discover the lifestyle of a small village, Posio, in Finnish Lapland. The village has a strong identity in the ceramic culture, which originates from the Pentik Ceramic Factory. As traditional industries in the area have been gradually declining, the community has encountered economic and social problems. These problems are not only seen in the small villages in Finland, but around the world. Therefore, a number of contemporary designers have been exploring new roles, designing in the society and communities. The case study in Posio experiments with the practical methodology and designer roles in order to overcome the social and economic problems within the small village. To resolve economic challenges, few active locals in Posio established the Arctic Ceramic Centre organization in 2014. During the thesis project, the author collaborated with the Ceramic Centre members as well as other local people by participatory methods in order to achieve positive and sustainable impacts in the village. A series of practical experiments, interventions and workshops were contributed, aiming to expand collaborative ways to work with these few key actors as well as a larger number of local people. During the practice-based project, the local people could discover the possibilities of their community and envision a holistic picture for the future of the village. In addition, connecting the different stakeholders together and facilitating discussions between them encouraged the participants to understand each other’s roles in the community development process. This study highlights the crucial role of the community bonds and human interaction to bring about a sustainable community development in everyday life.
Thesis advisorLei, Anna van der
participatory design, community design, social innovation, ceramic culture