Human-Centred Design (HCD) is an approach to creating solutions for problems and opportunities through a focus on the needs, contexts, behaviours, and emotions of the people that the solutions will serve. Co-design takes this a step further, recognising the expertise of “users” and seeking to make them meaningful, active agents in the design process. This is far more than simply asking people what they want.
So what happens when the service you are designing is for people who are vulnerable, living in the most challenging situations, struggling to get by day to day - people who have had to tell their story a hundred times over to access food, emergency housing and the services they need, and each time it leaves them feeling dehumanised and judged.
Tamaki Regeneration Company is designing and establishing an intensive support service for whanau living in crisis. We have had to learn how to adapt and tailor the co-design process to make it safe, meaningful and empowering. We are still learning on this journey but would like to share some early experiences and insights from this work.
Two recent examples of the co-design work undertaken by Tamaki Regeneration Company are the Whanau by Whanau Project, and the Apartment Strategy Work. The whanau by whanau work is about establishing an intensive support service for families to tackle those multiple and complex individual family and systemic factors that trap families in crisis and poverty. The apartment strategy is a piece of work that looks at what housing typologies Tamaki Regeneration Company should be offering Tamaki.
For more information about the Tamaki Regeneration Programme, their website is https://www.tamakiregeneration.co.nz