Book list

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20/20 Visions, Collaborative and Placemaking


by Charles Campion

RIBA Bookshop

Communities have a collective intelligence which brings social, economic and environmental value to designing cities and neighbourhoods. Just as the act of voting is a right, it is inherently democratic to bring people genuinely to the heart of planning and placemaking​

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Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity


by David de la PenaDiane Jones AllenRandolph T. HesterJeffrey HouLaura J. Lawson, and Marcia J. McNally

"Design as Democracy is a radical rethinking of participatory design by leaders in the field. Full of invaluable techniques for collective creativity, it is an indispensable resource for all designers who aspire to engage more deeply with communities."

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Beyond Sticky Notes is your guide to doing co-design, for real

by KA McKercher

Co-design is a transformative, community-centred design method which is much discussed – yet rarely practised authentically. Beyond Sticky Notes teaches you what co-design is and how to do it. Packed full of useful tips, clear diagrams, and practical frameworks, this book will help you lead collaborative design work, and genuinely share power. 

Design Justice - Community Lead Practices To Build The Worlds We Need

Design Justice - Community Lead Practices To Build The Worlds We Need

by Sasha Costanza-Chock

An exploration of how design might be led by marginalised communities, dismantle structural inequality and advance collective liberation and ecological survival.

7 Ways to Think Differently

7 Ways to Think Differently

by Looby Macnamara

The bulk of the book has seven chapters, each covering one of the seven ways, which are: abundance thinking, solutions thinking, systems thinking, thinking like nature, co-operative thinking, thinking for the future and from thinking to doing. Each one adds structure and depth to the unfolding story

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For the Love of Community Engagement: Insights from a personal expedition to inspire better public participation

by Becky Hirst

To have a thriving society, we need people and communities who are actively involved in civic life.   A wealth of sophisticated public consultation slogans, methods and frameworks are frequently seen.

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Rebel Ideas: The Power of Thinking Differently

by Matthew Syed

Rebel Ideas examines the power of 'cognitive diversity' - the ability to think differently about the world around us. It explains how to harness our unique perspectives, pool our collective intelligence and tackle the greatest challenges of our age - from climate change to terrorism

Useful websites and Guides


ACD International Voices Conference 2020

The ACD conference is a fantastic opportunity to learn from international practices and connect with others in the sector from around the world.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our first conference in November. Full speaker presentations are now available on the ACD YouTube channel


Olivia Haddon, Maori Placemaking. New Zealand 

​“Finding Māoritanga”: Public art/space as a form of indigenous resistance in a culturally erased and colonised space.


Nat Defriend, Participatory City. UK

'Every One Every Day' builds on the imaginative ‘hands-on’ projects for people and neighbourhoods


Cat Drew and Tatevik Sargsyan, Design Council, with Umi Baden-Powell Director of Insider-Outsider and an Associate with Public Practice, UK. 

Evolving design practice: Community Design 

Sara Ortiz Escalante, Collective Point 6, SPAIN/CANADA

​Rethinking spaces from new paradigms to break with discriminations and hierarchies


Joel Mills, AIA Centre for Communities by Design. The USA.

The Future of Urbanism is democratic.

Communities | Public Practice, UK

Here you will find the resources and records of Public Practice that focus primarily on the theme of Communities.


Her City supports urban development from a girl’s perspective

Hester Street, New York

Guides and publications on techniques and methods online

Black Space Manifesto, USA

We are Black urban planners, architects, artists, activists, designers, and leaders working to protect and create Black spaces. Our work includes a range of activities from engagement and projects in historically Black neighborhoods to hosting cross-disciplinary convenings and events.

Collectiu Punt Six, Spain

Guides and publications on gender-based urban assessment and methods

Association of Community Design, USA

To Learn and To Share

Design Kit, Human-Centred Design

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem-solving and the backbone of our work at It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs

Glass-house Resources, UK

The Glass-House wants to share what we learn and to help and inspire others to take forward their own projects and actions. We have produced a number of practical resources as well as films and publications about our work.  



This is a free resource with practical guidance on how to involve young people (11-18) in the way that places get built and managed. It is for professionals (not young people themselves): developers, designers, planners and sports providers. It is designed to improve participation in – and the quality of – new development and regeneration.

Models of Mindset, Australia/Global

Introducing the mindsets for co-design

Here are the six mindsets, described by KA McKercher in Beyond Sticky Notes: Doing Co-design for Real (2020).

  1. Elevating lived experience

  2. Practising curiosity

  3. Offering hospitality

  4. Being in the grey

  5. Learning through doing

  6. Valuing many perspectives  

The Climate Action Game project

A group of young people have joined forces with researchers at Birmingham City University to create an innovative new board game to help raise awareness of key issues surrounding climate change funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  


CLIMANIA, is available to download, print and play for free. It tasks participants with retrofitting properties – the process of adding additional technology to their homes - while facing different environmental challenges and opportunities.


Deepr Framework, online

Small, meaningful moments of connection have a significant impact on our mental and physical well-being, as well as the way we perform at work and the way we behave towards each other.

HAT Projects

This example looks at how rural communities in South Cambridge were supported so they could steer codesign requirements for their villages and get what they wanted from planning processes 

Migrants Bureau

Migrant’s Bureau is a multi-disciplinary social design and urbanism practice working for and with migrant and disenfranchised communities. We recognise the influence that culture, geography and social circumstances can have on people’s experiences of our urban landscapes. We curate, design and facilitate sustainable interventions, experiences and services for translocal and global communities.

Democratic Society: Public Square Global

Public Square Year 1: Prototyping new approaches for citizen participation