Design Engagement Toolkit
This research seeks to develop an understanding of specific engagement methodologies employed by A+D firms during design. Our research, broadly, seeks to answer two questions with regards to engagement:
Public engagement, often required for public design work, has come under increasing scrutiny, as design firms (and clients) seek to create more inclusive spaces and processes. While moves towards broadening types of engagement beyond the “traditional” community presentation have been ongoing over the past decade, there remains mostly anecdotal data about the specific ways that design phase outreach actually occurs. These efforts often remain dependent on the immediate past experience and expertise of individual design professionals and clients, making it challenging for both junior staff, and less-experienced teams to conduct effective processes, or to evaluate which techniques might be appropriate for each project and phase. Further, the as pandemic has hastened the adoption of a range of new digital tools, there is a need to assess these newer virtual activities to determine if they should become part of our standard design repertoire. More broadly, a more nuanced understanding of what is involved in this type of work will allow the design community to better communicate the added value of these activities to clients and groups that might be hesitant or otherwise resistant to “engagement”.