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Methods of Community Development

Methods of Community Development

An exploration and comparative analysis of Asset-Based Community Development approaches, methods and tools, and ways to evolve the mindsets and practices of Human Centered Design.

Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us.
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor, Harvard Business School

Objective & Outcomes

This course introduces students to the theory and criticism of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and how these discussions can inform the design process and approach. Students will analyze ABCD and its critiques, comparing its principles and approaches with HCD, using prototyping to generate new design approaches, methods and tools. The mindset and role of the designer will be scrutinized, as will the functions, activities, and methods of engagement a designer can take when working alongside and in service to community systems. 

Upon completing the course, students can apply the theory and frameworks of re-designed ABCD and community engagement practices. They can analyze and prototype tools and methods to facilitate system-shifting relationships, activities, and collaborations.

Typical Schedule

  • Session 1: Course Overview
  • Session 2: Mapping Community Assets
  • Session 3: Building Relationships
  • Session 4: Mobilizing Assets for Economic Development
  • Session 5: Convening the Community for Building a Vision & Plan
  • Session 6: Leveraging Outside Resources to Support Locally-Driven Development
  • Session 7: Identify Key Themes to develop
  • Session 8: Review Summary of A Session Learnings
  • Session 9: Outline Strategy
  • Session 10: Develop Initial Findings for Strategy
  • Session 11: Working in Teams on Strategy Parts
  • Session 12: Refinement of Recommendations
  • Session 13: Refinement of Recommendations
  • Session 14: Final Presentation