An Engagement: Towards Participatory Design in Aotearoa
This research proposes that if executed sensitively, inclusive participatory design may empower and connect people, improve the quality of the built environment, and contribute to societal sustainability.
However, in Aotearoa New Zealand parts of the field of participatory design remain underdeveloped. New ways of designing are needed, that are genuinely inclusive of the public, and rooted in partnership with Māori. This thesis integrates existing knowledge, original input from indigenous and public architecture professionals, and insights gained from design explorations. It aims to unpack some of the key dynamics in participatory processes in Aotearoa New Zealand. These insights are then used to propose elements of an integrated framework, alongside seven actions toward decolonising participatory design, that could help shape future design thinking and contribute to societal sustainability. The findings demonstrate the potential to empower communities through genuinely inclusive participation, and the production of distinctive, meaningful public places.