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The Mission: engaging Aboriginal Australian children in the redesign of community public spaces
chapterposted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Angela KreutzAngela Kreutz
‘The Mission’ is how children refer to their home in an Aboriginal community in south-eastern Queensland, Australia. And during an intensive 1-day co-design workshop, it was their mission to redesign their community which remains burdened by post-colonial and institutional structures after decades of government control. Meaningful participatory design research is evidenced worldwide, but this is far less common with Indigenous people. This chapter presents a case study that engaged Aboriginal Australian children in the redesign of public and shared spaces. This involved an assessment and rethinking of shared spaces using a mixed method approach including Photovoice, focus group discussions, interviews, and a co-design workshop. The methods used to engage children in design activities are detailed, along with their planning and design recommendations, and personal reflections on the participatory process itself. Furthermore, a number of guiding principles are presented that can assist individuals and organizations wanting to engage Indigenous children in co-design projects. These are relevant to Australia and other Indigenous communities in the world, where the trauma of colonial events continue to impact their everyday lived spaces.