The Co-Design Group Explains Their Process to Shawnigan Lake
The Shawnigan Lake community recently acquired the Elsie Myles School Property – buildings and land. Now they are discussing how to develop it best for their community.
A number of residents participated as Vancouver based Co-Design Group, an association of architects, designers and researchers, made a presentation at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre over the past weekend. The premise is that the Co-Design Group ascertains the ingredients and interaction that a community desires for a space. That information, provided in the form of drawings, is then used by designers and architects to create what citizens decide on. On their website they say:
“Citizens are experts in the way they wish to live. Architects and planners are experts in design. We respect the expertise of these two groups and invite them into a constructive dialogue with each other.”
What I appreciate about this approach is that it is not some level of government dictating what the community is to have; it is the residents who live there providing the input and creating their space. This is much better than the paternalistic, “we know what’s best” method that so many communities, provinces, territories and our country have evolved into.
Shawnigan Lake is a small community on Vancouver Island 1/2 hour south of Duncan, BC.
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