Design + Desires

User centered urban research and design.

Design + Desires is a platform which investigates the richness of cities by connecting to citizens values and ambitions. The project is initiated by Droog, an experimental design company from the Netherlands, in collaboration with local artists and OS-City, an online mapping platform.

Formed out of an understanding of the problematic nature of traditional top-down city planning, Design + Desires aims to listen to citizen’s wishes and establish tools for urban change driven by emotional needs. In order to research emotive responses, the project has developed a method which-

‘links the output of social media, active participatory citizen research, technology and innovative design solutions.’

‘The ultimate aim is to build a conceptual model for a micro-city, which stems from an unbiased inventory of latent desires, dreams and needs of individual citizens, which are translated by designers into products, places, atmospheres, services and linkages.’ Design+Desires

The project not only conducts academic research and surveys but translates and tests the found information in the form of educational/design projects, exhibitions, debates and lectures. Already the project has been involved with a number of international partners from The School of Life, V&A London and the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in Shenzhen, China.

One outcome of the project is an educational programme with Cornell University which asks students to investigate a small territory and map out the desires, needs and general everyday routines of the citizens in order to propose a design which stems from emotional behaviour over spatial strategies.

As a growing platform, Design + Desires is providing a vital and diverse insight to how the 21st Century citizen deals with the pressures and opportunities of living in a hyper-connected world.  These innovative research and testing motives are an important step towards considering the agility of cities and progressive community involvement.