Artful Integrators Award

Join us to celebrate Artful Integrators

Wednesday 17th of June 5:30 pm (-5 UCT)

Session to unveil the winners of the PDC Artul Integrators Award, intended to recognize outstanding achievement in the area of participatory design of information and communications technologies. Where traditional design awards have gone to individual designers and singular objects, the Artful Integrators Award emphasizes the importance of collaborative participation in design, and a view of good design as the effective alignment of diverse collections of people, practices and artifacts.

The award goes to a group of people who together have worked out, in an exceptionally creative way, new forms of participation in design. While no single element of a design might be particularly extraordinary in itself, the combination of design processes and resulting possibilities will be.

Following the ceremony there is a Sound landscape performance as part of the program of the Festival Internacional de la Imagen

The award chairs received 10 submissions for the award for 2020. The chairs shortlisted and then discussed the frontrunners. All the entries had impressive qualities; it was inspiring to see what is happening across the world. We looked particularly for an intersection of maturity, teamwork, participatory process and design sensibility. We found that two stood out in how they brought these together, for different reasons:

CatalyticAction (Winners)

Statement of the jury: This action is an interesting design initiative in a challenging context. It presents very embedded design processes and results. It is a charity and design studio that works to empower communities through strategic and innovative spatial interventions, launched in the UK, but constitu local players wherever they are working. They work with vulnerable communities around the Middle East region and Europe to improve and shape together the quality of their built environment, making shapes for new educational spaces, such as Jarahieh School: A learning center for Syrian refugee children. 

Socially this is a truly interesting project that concerns itself with spatial justice, design and empowerment. We think it speaks to the many values in PD that transcend the informational, while embracing it, and reach beyond the customary areas in which PD is practiced. We also received a sense of long-term commitment here – the initiative dates from 2014 and has kept momentum. And it has a profound sense of infrastructure and its design qualities in all senses – to quote:  “We focus on specific values that have the community members at the centre of the process.” and “Transferring participatory tools for just decision-making processes”. This is what we might call scaling out co-design and there is evidence that their process has spread and influenced other groups in similar circumstances. Unfortunately, many of the spaces that have been codesigned remain unbuilt… the bricks and mortar is harder to bring into being than the informal schools that show the method’s potential.

Acceptance Speech: We founded CatalyticAction charity and design studio in 2014. What we wanted to do is to prove how architecture can be a tool to empower vulnerable communities and impact the current humanitarian practice. Throughout our projects we adopted a participatory approach with refugees and host communities in the design processes to build resilient communities. 

What really keeps us going is the direct impact you see when you work directly with the people, when you see that you do makes a difference in people’s lives. 

The Participatory Spatial Intervention is a very unique project through which we worked closely with local residents from different nationalities: Lebanese, Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians to research their needs and co-design together the spatial intervention that addresses their vulnerabilities. The project was implemented in a town where we have close relationships with the communities, having worked there for the previous 4 years, this long term engagement with the local residents was very important to ensure a meaningful participatory process that used a diversity lens. We used citizen science methodology where we trained a group of the residents to be co-researchers and they worked with us to reach the broader community members and involve them in the participatory design activities.

The project is at the centre a collaborative effort together with the residents including children, the municipality, academics, artists, activists, local skilled workers and local businesses. 

It raised awareness on important issues such as recycling, the importance of women participation and of child friendly spaces.  The intervention transformed social relations and built a human infrastructure made for and by residents to negotiate and activate change processes.

Thank you. Joana Dabaj // CatalicAction co-founder

Mending the New: A Framework for Reconciliation Through Testimonial Digital Textiles in the Transition to Post-Conflict Rural Colombia (Mention)

This is a wonderful local Colombian initiative in collaboration with academics in Britain. It creatively acknowledges the trauma that needs healing in remote areas of Colombia and does so sensitively in a collaborative form and with room for both research leadership and bottom-up contribution, using textiles to work with memory and reconciliation.

It is still very young. It launched in late 2018 and the project runs for 2 years. It will be interesting to see how it deals with legacy. The judges are keen to see how it transitions out of a funded research project and finds support for longer-term activities.

Palabras de las ganadoras: Hace 20 años, Lucy Suchman le dio nombre a este premio acudiendo a su reflexión sobre otras posibilidades para el diseño más allá del diseño desde ninguna parte. Para mi es un honor estar recibiendo esta mención y tenerla a ella como parte de este equipo. Su compañía en este proceso ha sido para mi, reconfortante. Gracias Lucy por ser parte de esto. Se nos llena el corazón de alegría por este reconocimiento, el cual recibimos con mucha humildad. Queremos dedicar esta mención a las mujeres de Sonsón, Bojayá, Quibdó y Mampuján, es su valentía y resistencia cotidiana la que sostiene nuestro trabajo. Nuestra responsabilidad política es acompañar sus trabajos textiles y las luchas que ellos guardan, hemos buscado expresar esa responsabilidad en cada puntada, circuito, palabra y dibujo que se ha plasmado en telas, hojas y pantallas y que han hecho posible este proyecto y su circulación.
En Colombia, mientras la pandemia del Coronavirus ha concentrado la atención mediática y nuestra ansiedad cotidiana, 121 líderes sociales han sido asesinados, las amenazas sobre sus vidas por el trabajo de defensa a los derechos humanos que realizan se han vuelto parte de su cotidianidad. Pero también es parte de su cotidianidad el seguir inventándose la vida al interior de sus casas y en las plazas, calles y centros comunales a los que convocan a otras y otros para pensar otros mundos posibles. 
Hace unas semanas Juana Alicia Ruiz, lideresa del grupo Tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz de Mampuján, uno de los grupos con los que trabajamos desde Remendar lo nuevo y que nos invita a pensar en la reconciliación como la cocción de una sopa que requiere mucha cocción y trabajo, recibió amenazas por grupos armados por fuera de la ley. El escalamiento del conflicto es también latente en el Chocó donde están los grupos de Artes Choibá y Guayacán, la calma para las Tejedoras por la Memoria de Sonsón es tensa y relativa. En nuestro trabajo con estas mujeres es frecuente su llamado a que escuchemos con el corazón sus historias y alertas, que nos dejemos conmover por ellas, que las acompañemos en solidaridad con lo que les pasa, para sentir que no sólo les pasa a ellas. Qué el zurcido que demanda este tejido social rasgado es una responsabilidad colectiva.
Gracias de nuevo por reconocer el esfuerzo que estamos haciendo en este sentido 
Acceptance Speech: Twenty years ago, Lucy Suchman gave this award its name by calling on her thoughts about other possibilities for design beyond design from nowhere. I am honored to be receiving this mention and to have her as part of this team. Her company in this process has been, for me, comforting. Thank you, Lucy, for being a part of this. 

Our hearts are filled with joy for this recognition, which we receive with great humility. We would like to dedicate this mention to the women of Sonson, Bojaya, Quibdo and Mampujan; it is their courage and daily resistance that sustains our work. Our political responsibility is to accompany their textile works and the struggles they keep, we have sought to express that responsibility in every stitch, circuit, word and drawing that has been captured in fabrics, sheets and screens and that have made this project and its circulation possible.

In Colombia, while the Coronavirus pandemic has focused media attention and our daily anxiety, 121 social leaders have been killed, threats to their lives because of their human rights work have become part of their daily lives. But it is also part of their everyday life to continue inventing life inside their homes and in the plazas, streets and community centers to which they call others to think of other possible worlds. 

A few weeks ago Juana Alicia Ruiz, leader of the group Weaving Dreams and Flavors of Peace of Mampuján, one of the groups we work with from Mending the New and that invites us to think of reconciliation as the cooking of a soup that requires a lot of preparation and work, received threats from armed groups outside the law. The escalation of the conflict is also latent in the Chocó where the Choibá and Guayacán handicraft groups are located; the calm for the Weavers for the Memory of Sonson is tense and relative. In our work with these women it is frequent that they call on us to listen with our hearts to their stories and warnings, to allow ourselves to be moved by them, to accompany them in solidarity with what is happening to them, to feel that it is not only happening to them. That the mending that this torn social fabric demands is a collective responsibility.

Thank you again for recognizing the effort we are making in this regard 

#Living is urgent #
# do not unravel the work for peace