Community asset mapping is a strength-based approach to community development. The goal of community asset-mapping is to work closely with communities to describe, find, and document assets within the community and use them to solve a particular social problem. Through a co-design process working with people in their context, designers may find ways to identify an immense amount of knowledge in communities. This paper documents the process of codesigning CONNECT, a project that I (an Iranian graphic designer) created in collaboration with Project YouthBuild (PYB) students and staff. PYB supports vulnerable low-income youth between 16–24 years of age to shape their futures with a measure of autonomy. It is a high school degree completion and jobs training program for students who have been forced out of high school. Many are either BIPOC, young parents, or experiencing the impact of multigenerational poverty. The goal of the partnership was to use the horizontal, iterative, co-design process to find the potentially valuable hidden knowledge in the community neighboring Gainesville’s PYB headquarters and find out how we can work together to use these assets to facilitate social change.
Assistant Professor, Arts and Art History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Horizontal Design, Community, Asset mapping, Communication