Who? Alessandro Medici
What? PhD Researcher on Design
Where? Cape Peninsula University of Technology
I am a PhD student in the School of Design at the University of Leeds (UK). I am currently in Cape Town as part of the PARTY project (PARticipatory development with the Youth), a EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme aiming to support youth’s motivation and abilities to participate in the development of their own community towards a wider integration into their national socio-economic system – using service design tools and participatory design methodologies.
My work focuses on Design as a problem-solving and sense-making practice and my research investigates if, and how, Participatory Design can be used as a grass roots indirect approach to sustainable development and community empowerment.
During my fieldwork in Cape Town, I engaged with a group of unemployed youth living around Philippi and run a series of workshops at the Tsoga Community Centre (Samora Machel). The youth decided to work on the issue of drugs and alcohol abuse and learned creative ways to collect and analyse data from fellow peers, trained facilitation and planning skills, ultimately developing a proposal to offer a solution to the community. The team finally organised a public event (25th November) to present the work produced in order to collect feedback and engage with stakeholders – feel free to join!
Having the chance to work closely with these youngsters has been of incredible value, for it is amazing to see their enthusiasm and passion, as well as the love they have for their community.