Design Workshop on Community-Led Resiliency

Co-ideating innovative ideas that allow communities to be more resilient in times of crisis.


  • Roles: Design Strategist, Facilitator, Design Researcher, Visual Designer, Production.
  • Methods: Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping.
  • Collaborators: Sung-My Kim
  • Participants: FEMA corps, Red Cross representatives and high school teenagers.

The proposal: to dedicate a day to in-depth conversations and design activity on the subject of Community-Led Resiliency. This was done by bringing together people from the disaster response and design communities to understand each others approaches and contribute their particular expertise to develop new ways of assisting communities in times of crisis. The efforts culminated in show-and- tell presentations of the ideas and prototypes generated.

Catalyzing through design: As design facilitators we introduced and demonstrated design thinking, design processes and creative practices appropriate to building resilient communities. In this workshop we got an enthusiastic group of people together to rapidly prototype innovative ideas that allow communities to be more resilient in times of crisis. Participants worked in small mixed teams to explore different challenges with starting (‘half-baked’) ideas put forward by the designers. The workshop was be very active and focused on making and demonstrating the idea over simply talking about it. 

The participants

Participants from the disaster response community were asked to call on their past and current experiences of disasters, their wisdom around effective approaches to engaging communities, and new opportunities they see for the future of disaster management as they work side by side, prototyping new ideas with designers.