Low-Contact Co-Design: Considering more flexible spatiotemporal models for the co-design workshop



The recent global experience of COVID-19 has problematized the face-to-face co-design process and forced co-design researchers and practitioners to rethink the process of collaboration that typically takes place in a co-design workshop. This paper considers how we might continue to co-design when physical proximity is not possible. Recognising that technology has long played a role in co-design practice, we argue that to date, the technologically mediated experience of co-design has been largely based on the assumption of replicating the physical and embodied experience of the co-design workshop. Rather than accepting the deficit culture implied through the curtailing of much of the conventional face-to-face activities we associate with co-design, this paper reports on proactive research into novel possibilities for continuing collaborative research work through the concept of ‘low-contact co-design’. A series of proprietary visual models that explore a range of spatiotemporal conditions within which co-design practices can occur are presented. Opportunities for engaging with new communities, and in new processes are highlighted and a spatiotemporal framework for planning co-design processes is presented.






Reflections on the design processes adopted in response to the pandemic crisis