This project seeks to develop a novel combination of 1) design interventions, 2) public makerspaces and 3) online design resources as a means of fostering creative citizens in China in an inclusive and bottom-up manner. The rationale is that human capital has increasingly become the most important asset of a country and experts argued that the key to sustainable economic growth of a city/country is an ability to attract, nurture and retain a creative workforce. One effective way of promoting and fostering creativity is to actively engage people in creative activities, such as co-design and hands-on making activities.
The project spreads across three years. In Year 1, the team will focus on identifying good practices of creative communities and find out key requirements regarding public makerspaces in China in order to create suitable strategies. In Year 2, the team will develop a prototype of public makerspace in one of the community neighbourhood centres in Shanghai with an intention to scale up and expand to other areas in China.
The team will also initiate community co-design projects between local residents and design students from Tongji University to introduce the co-design process to local communities. The processes and outcomes of community projects will be thoroughly evaluated to identify potential impacts.
Key lessons learned will be extracted to develop suitable strategies and action plans for scaling up. Year 3 will concentrate on developing a strategic design framework with suitable guidelines for developing community creative hubs.