DeCID Investigators receive Artful Integrators Award for participatory design project

June 26, 2020

The CatalyticAction team has won an award for its PSI project in Lebanon.

DeCID partner CatalyticAction has received the Artful Integrators Award at the Participatory Design Conference 2020, for the project “Participatory Spatial Intervention: Addressing vulnerabilities through infrastructure” led by DeCID Principal Investigator Dr Andrea Rigon.

The award recognises outstanding achievement in the area of participatory design of information and communications technologies. In a statement, the jury said, “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 [participatory design] that transcend the informational, while embracing it, and reach beyond the customary areas in which PD is practiced.

The PSI is a spatial intervention in a town in Lebanon’s Beqaa valley which has recently experienced a rapid influx of Syrian refugees that has doubled its population. The team used participatory methods to identify vulnerabilities of the residents and to co-design solutions to address these while improving the infrastructural provision in the town.  

The virtual award ceremony was attended by Dr Andrea Rigon and CatalyticAction Co-founder and DeCID Investigator Joana Dabaj. In her acceptance speech, Joana Dabaj said: “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 … 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.”

The Participatory Spatial Intervention inspired Dr Andrea Rigon and CatalyticAction to collaborate on the DeCID project to develop a practical toolkit for the codesign of built interventions with children affected by displacement. The toolkit will be launched on July 16th at 2pm GMT.

More information about the PSI project can be found here:

Sign up here to attend the launch of the DeCID toolkit

Download the handbook by clicking on the button below. Arabic and Spanish versions will be available soon.