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Conference 2020

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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 - please view, share, like and subscribe!

Please also download and share the virtual whiteboards with notes on the presentations and subsequent discussions:



A big thank you to JTP for sponsoring our first conference.





Co-Design – International Voices.

Throughout the day, three international speakers from New Zealand, the USA, Spain and the UK, will present via Zoom co-design case studies in breakfast, midday and afternoon sessions, aimed to fit around your work commitments. We will be running a virtual whiteboard via Miro during the conference, with breakout sessions with provocations, networking and fun exercises and breathing to get the mind and body revitalised between sessions.

Hear from:

09:30 to 10:00 GMT

Welcome from the Association of Collaborative Design, UK. 

Co-chaired by Dr Noha Nasser  and Sarah Jones-Morris

Welcoming participants, invited speakers and committee to the opening of our first virtual international conference and our sponsors JTP. Includes breakout sessions and fun

10:00 to 11:00 GMT / 11:00 to 00:00 NZDT

Olivia Haddon, Maori Placemaking. New Zealand

Chaired by Dr Jo Morrison

Format: 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q+A followed by 20mins breakout session


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

Olivia Haddon is from Pakiri on the east coast, north of Auckland. Olivia’s iwi (tribal affiliations) are Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Wai and Ngāti Ruanui. She is a mother of three and an urban planner and urban designer at Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland Council).

Olivia has a background in Māori art, design, planning and urban design. She currently works as an Urban Design Specialist - Māori Design in the Auckland Design Office at Auckland Council. She champions design partnerships with Mana Whenua (tribal authorities) and urban kaitiakitanga (central Māori value of reciprocal care of natural and physical resources and environmental restoration in urban environments). Specifically, She works to incorporate Māori design thinking into the council’s urban design strategy and planning.  Olivia loves art, being Māori, and living in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Her design work and research investigate indigenous innovation, Māori urbanism, Māori design principles, qualities and outcomes. When a design is inclusive of indigenous knowledge and mixes old ways of knowing, being and doing with new modes and technologies, it has transformational urban, social and environmental outcomes that can mutually benefit all.




Council Story:

11:00 to 11:15 GMT

Charles Campion JTP - 20/20  Visions Presentation 

11: 15 to 12:00 GMT ***Breakout Session ***

Get you moving, breathing, networking for fun: DEEPR - Exercises

12:00 to 13:00 GMT

Nat Defriend, Participatory City. The UK.

Chaired by Katie Lea

Format: 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q+A followed by 20mins breakout session

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

'Every One Every Day'.

Nat Defriend will describe the Every One Every Day project which, as the first of its kind anywhere in the world, is building an inclusive Participatory System at the heart of Barking and Dagenham in East London. Nat will outline the key elements of the System’s design, what it aims to achieve (and has achieved in its 3 years of existence to date) and describe how co-design principles and residents are at the heart of everything the System aims to do.


Nat Defriend is Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Participatory City where he leads on all aspects of organisational operations and has specific responsibility for building national and international partnerships behind Every One Every Day. Nat trained as a Probation Officer, working in front-line services before moving into central government where he led sector transformation programmes in Youth Justice.


Before Participatory City Nat was Director of Communities at the Young Foundation leading a UK-wide and international programme of community-led initiatives to create and foster local innovation. Nat’s career has been defined by a passion for tackling some of our communities’ greatest challenges, and latterly by a firm conviction that solutions lie upstream and outside the formal structures of institutions, services and systems. He brings this passion to his current work in the Everyone Everyday initiative. He lives in London with a huge number of daughters and a fairly fresh puppy.

13:00 to 13:30 GMT ***Breakout Session ***

Get you moving, breathing, networking for fun: ACD Conversation Play Lab  ‘building towers’

13:30 to 14: 30 GMT

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

Chaired by Dr Kate Langham

Format: 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q+A followed by 20mins breakout session

Evolving design practice: Community Design with Cat Drew, Chief Design Officer and Tatevik Sargsyan, Programme Lead (Social Innovation and Public Services), Design Council, with Umi Baden-Powell

Building on our 3-year Transform Ageing programme where we worked with South West Academic Health Science Network & UnLtd to support 62 social entrepreneurs and community organisations to create products & services to tackle social isolation and improve health, we believe that everyone can have a design mindset. Our principle ‘designing democratically’ is around using our work to spread design skills to communities, giving them greater confidence to make a change in their neighbourhoods. And COVID has shown how communities are using creativity, resourcefulness and a ‘get on and make’ approach — adapting places or creating new services — without calling it ‘design’. Our research into design for health & wellbeing highlighted the importance of engaging communities and co-production, and Deborah Szebeko, founder of thinking public and one of our new Design Associates, gave a great showcase of the best of this practice.

We’re also starting a research project with Local Trust to uncover the infinite creativity and resourcefulness of communities to achieve common goals and identify what is needed to give confidence to and amplify a mass of ‘non-designer’ designers in communities.

Currently, we’re being inspired by Ezio Manzini, Participatory City, Community Lover’s Guide, research by Local Trust to identify community creativity, Calvium Placemaking, Community research by the Institute for Community Studies & the Young Foundation.

14:30 to 15:00 GMT ***Breakout Session ***

Get you moving, breathing, networking for fun: Breathing and stretches


15:00 to 16:00 GMT / 07:00 to 08:00 PDT

Sara Ortiz Escalante, Collective Point 6, SPAIN/CANADA

Chaired by Sarah Jones-Morris

Format: 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q+A followed by 20mins breakout session 

Collectiu Punt 6, Barcelona: Rethinking spaces from new paradigms to break with discriminations and hierarchies

This talk is based around the methodologies and practice of Collectiu Punt 6; an inspirational cooperative of architects, sociologists and urban planners with more than 15 years of local, national and international experience. Their presentation is linked to their case studies and publications:

Spanish version and English version:

Collectiu Punt 6 believe it is necessary to rethink spaces from new paradigms to break with discriminations and hierarchies, and to work towards social transformation. To accomplish this, they support the solidarity economy, the economy that gives priority to people’s lives, through the design and development of all their projects.

They work from an intersectional gender perspective visible the different positions of power, and how these influence in the use and configuration of spaces. And they do it through community action, to promote social diversity without discriminations.

BBC Short film 'What would a city designed by women be like? '

Sara Ortiz Escalante is a feminist activist and urban planner. Sara received a PhD in Planning by the University of British Columbia with the dissertation "Planning the everyday/every night: feminist participatory action research with women nightshift workers". Sara is a member of Col·lectiu Punt 6, a coop of sociologists, planners and architects based in Barcelona working applying an intersectional feminist perspective in urban planning. They develop urban planning and architecture projects, participatory processes, capacity building, teaching and research. In November 2019, they published "Urbanismo Feminista. Por una Transformación Radical de los Espacios de Vida" Virus Editorial. They have published multiple materials and guides to apply a feminist perspective in different aspects of design and @CollectiuPunt6

16:00 to 17:00 GMT / 11:00 to 12:00 EST

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


Chaired by Dr Noha Nasser

Format: 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q+A followed by 20mins breakout session


The Future of Urbanism is democratic.

In recent years, our cities and towns have witnessed a discernible trend toward the retrenchment of autocratic approaches to city-building and more passive approaches to public participation in major planning and design work. Too often today, expensive public processes are failing to result in popularly supported policies and plans. As a result, major planning and design initiatives have seen a marked increase in conflict, controversy, and distrust as the quality of public processes and civil discourse has declined. Trickle-down urbanism doesn’t work. We need to remember that people are the foundations of our cities. The answers to our challenges must come from the bottom up, not the top down. If we are going to create sustainable communities to succeed in this century, we need citizen urbanists to do it. When urban democracy expands, cities flourish.

Joel Mills is Senior Director of the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design. The Center is a leading provider of pro bono technical assistance and democratic design for community success. Its programs have catalyzed billions of dollars in sustainable development across the United States, helping to create some of the most vibrant places in America today. The Center’s design assistance process has been recognized with numerous awards and has been replicated and adapted across the world.

Joel’s 26-year career has been focused on strengthening civic capacity, public processes and civic institutions. This work has helped millions of people participate in democratic processes, visioning efforts, and community planning initiatives

17:00 to 17:15 GMT 

Close out

Olivia Haddon presentation notes
Nat Defriend presentation notes
Design Council presentation notes
Sara Escalante presentation notes
Joel Mills presentation notes
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