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Title: Miaoxia Village - building a sustainable community
Authors: Hasdell, P 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: The research, initiated and led by Peter Hasdell (as Insitu -Project), spanned four years and involved 7 researchers, over 100 participants , from 4 universities, including 7 workshops and 2 internships.
The collaborative project with designers and social scientists revitalizing a rural commu-nity in Miaoxia Sichuan China used a combined action research and participatory design approach. The project involved extensive research and in -depth engagement with villagers.
This resulted in a body of work comprising 6 co-designed and constructed works (com-munity kitchen, guesthouse, community waste treatment, square, community guest-house, social enterprise and garden), 2 social enterprises, 3 book chapters, conferences, 4 colloquia and 5 exhibitions.
Miaoxia village research involved collaboration between the disciplines of Social Sciences and Design. The combined social design methodology used Action Research to create new ‘software’ (social enterprises , new community groups) and Participatory Design to create new ‘hardware’ (new buildings, improved infrastructure) through extensive and protracted engagement with the rural community in Sichuan.
The research aligned social and design change towards sustainable development and increased resilience in the community. The key research focus was how collaborative approaches can positively impact long-term rural development, generating resources, capacities and capabilities as local knowledge ecologies and tools of social innovation. In-depth engagement with villagers involving co-design / participatory design processes led to the implementation of 5 new community facilities and amenities and the parallel development of villager-run social enterprises (cooperatives) to manage and benefit from these. Benefits from these enterprises are shared supporting community health, education and wellness. The work combines non-traditional outcomes (design, exhibitions, craft based research) with traditional research outputs.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Post with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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