2016 The Practice of Community Design

Font size  SML

Register update notification mail Add to favorite lecture list
Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Urban Design and Built Environment
Dohi Masato 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Description: It has been only 15 years since the requirement of citizen participation in designing the public space came to be taken for granted. Why is participation necessary? How is the participatory design different from the conventional design offered by experts, in terms of the designing process and forms? This course lectures today’s position of community design as a solution for the current challenges of socio-spatial design using practical examples.

Aim: This course provides lectures on principles and techniques required for community design, which is seen to be practical realisation of socio-spatial approaches. It aims to get students understand and acquire these principles and techniques by showing practical examples.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand and explain the changes that occur when community design intervenes in the urban space in practice.
2) Understand and explain the significance of community design through practical examples.
3) Understand and explain how to manage complex relationships among various stakeholders using community design.


Community design, citizen participation, community designer, urban design

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

How each class will be conducted: A lecture on a topic is provided for the first 45 minutes; and for the second half, students present their research results on the topic followed by an open discussion.
How the subject matter will be covered over the course of teaching: The course teaches principles of community design that have been found through practices, and considers the future direction of community design.
The method of teaching: This course encourages the proactive thinking of students by combining presentations and discussions with lectures.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation Overview practical examples of community design.
Class 2 Community designer as a profession: its principles Understand and explain the purposes and ethics of experts whose profession is community design on the ground.
Class 3 Community designer as a profession: its social position Understand and explain the occupational roles that community designers are expected to and need to play.
Class 4 The techniques and methods of community design: designing through working together Understand and explain how to design cooperation and collaboration between various participants, which is a basic skill of community design.
Class 5 The techniques and methods of community design: visualising the invisible Understand and explain how to make and suggest an alternative solution, which is a basic skill of community design.
Class 6 A practice of community design 1: Manteo, North Carolina Learn the case of tourism development and community regeneration in Manteo, North Carolina, United States.
Class 7 Environmental justice Understand and explain the concept of environmental justice, which is needed to realise harmonious cohabitation with vulnerable people, and which is a basic principle of community design.
Class 8 Sacred structures Understand and explain the sacred structures existing in a community, which are particularly important for community design.
Class 9 A practice of community design 2: Los Angeles Learn the case of river and community revitalisation in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Class 10 Social design and urban design Understand and explain a basic skill of community design for problem solving; that is, how to actively design social and spatial elements at the same time so that the two sets of elements complementary influence each other.
Class 11 Scaling up Understand and explain the principles and techniques of dealing with the changes of socio-spatial scales in community design practice.
Class 12 A practice of community design 3: Japan Learn the outcomes and challenges of community design using practical examples in Japan.
Class 13 The working together of government bodies, corporations and non-profits Understand and explain techniques to enable different social sectors who are significant actors in community design to work together by learning through practical examples.
Class 14 From participatory design to ecological democracy Learn the theory of ecological democracy that has a possibility to overcome the challenges of socio-spatial scales in community design.
Class 15 Summary Understand and explain the changes that occur when community design intervenes in the urban space in practice.


Hester, R. T. and Dohi, M. (1997) “Machizukuri no hoho to gijutsu [The methods and techniques of community design]”, Gendai Kikakushitsu
Hester, R. T. (2006) “Design for ecological democracy”, The MIT Press

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are distributed as necessary.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are required to do a research presentation and submit a report. Both presentations and reports are marked out of 100 with 25 for the degree of understanding, 25 for the knowledge, 25 for the ability of structuring the report, and the final 25 for the ability of expressing the idea.

Related courses

  • ARC.P302 : Landscape Architecture
  • UDE.D412 : The Practice of Community Design
  • UDE.D443 : Practices of Urban and Community Design
  • UDE.D449 : Landscape Design Studio Ⅱ
  • ARC.P204 : Introduction to Urban Study

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required.

Page Top