Watershed Partners

What is Co-Design?

by Charlie Ursell

Explaining Co-Design isn’t easy. It’s one of those things, like going to a concert, conquering a mountain peak or taking part in an exhilarating sport, that has a quality which is lost when put into words. Yet the experience is often profound and can have long lasting and transformative impacts on the individuals and systems involved.

Put simply, Co-Design is a method and process of working together to achieve shared outcomes. It involves a journey of collective understanding, contextualization, discussion and work in order to generate new insights and a more holistic understanding of the problem faced. Participants change the way they look at things and this changes what they see. These new collective insights are used to visualize, explore, co-create and rapidly prototype solutions by working iteratively and collaboratively. Participants quickly go through multiple iterations of work, informed by open and honest feedback, scenario testing and design challenges.