Design thinking is a versatile methodology that can help upgrade various areas of life for the better. Urban designers have already tapped into the creativity and human-focused traits to upgrade and redesign public spaces, bike routes, entire buildings, or apartment complexes.
The urban festival in Krakow was named “Your City Our City” to highlight the notion of all spaces being our spaces; as city inhabitants, we walk around our streets, sit on our benches, walk around our parks. The event took place in 2014, however the concept still holds true: we all need to understand that yes, maybe the designer and the city council will have the budget (after all, you do need money), but nothing will change if we won’t take matters into our own hands and try to make those spaces ours (and people are known to find ways to fund projects they believe in).
Fortunately for us, brought up mostly in concrete jungles, people are slowly waking up to fight for renovation/revitalization of their urban spaces and greeneries around.
The festival was, of course, focused on the city of Krakow. Five groups (mostly architecture students, urban activists, and change makers), led by teams of designer/architect + design thinking facilitator, channeled their ideas and innovative thinking to revitalize five areas of Krakow. The designer/architect was responsible for providing the substantive support for the group, and the structural and process support (including probing/empathy session, problem framing, addressing creativity slumps, and more) was handled by the design thinking mentor.
The project required seamless cooperation between the two leaders to ensure that the challenge was tackled from the right, human-centered point of view while still being urbanistically possible.
The event also included presentations from notable architects/activists:
+ Konrad Myślik – Project for Public Spaces.
+ Ed McCann – Engineering the City of the Future.
+ Sascha Haselmayer – Open & Collaborative City.
+ Raquel Ramati – Implementation Tools to Promote a Livable City.
+ Mike Davies – Scaling the Picture Frame – From city to Building.