Open Letter . Stand Up! Design for Democracy

Arianna Mazzeo – Desislab Elisava

Design is a social act. We as designers have the capability to explore citizen-centered design approaches far away from the smart city point of view. This transformative role of design(ers) is beyond the problem solving, a very unique and important contribution to live the city as a right. Be change agent means for us as community, to create opportunities, principles and practices with and for citizens, as citizens, to be implemented in our life, community, public space towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable resilient urban futures.

How can citizens meaningfully be engaged in the process of an open-ended design city making? And in what we can contribute to change, transform and open the role of the professional in the process of design city making as a right for all?  And which new design methodologies, approaches and roles we have taken as designers on towards the creation of a sustainable and collaborative city?

Making the right to design the city a right for all means understand design cities as open and accessible to all.

Stand up! through ‘creative destruction’ we need to be capable to decoding our streets, squares and city with a new sense of place where sharing, collaborating, are not just words but transformative actions of more equal relationships.

To adopt the right to co-design of our city, as both working slogan and political ideal, precisely will help us to focuses on the question of who is in charge. Design is political.

The democratisation of that right, and the construction of a broad social movement as Design for Democracy, is a meaningful step to enforce every citizens to be change agent acting locally and thinking globally. Quoting Harvey: “Lefebvre was right to insist that the revolution has to be urban, in the broadest sense of that term, or nothing at all.

Wake up! Public Space is generator of democratic cities enabling citizens to re-design a collective creative power to reshape our life. Designers are the bridge to foster this material and immaterial relationship, co-creating opportunities for a more inclusive, and participative city, starting from our everyday.

Let’s go!