On local development and design

One of the projects I enjoyed dearly during the course of the Master was a local development project to revive the territory of Albissola, Liguria. We were given certain areas of focus, and ours was to create an innovation focusing on the territory’s potential for sports and leisure.

The place was beautiful — it had the mountains, the sea and a strong pottery industry going for them. But it faced a few challenges, such as a lack of vitality, identity and story preservation.

Following a design thinking approach, we created journal maps on the territory’s strengths and weaknesses, guided by local residents who were more welcoming than we expected, letting us into their houses, feeding us enormous amounts of food and sharing stories for hours (albeit Italian, to an English-speaking class). It was from this kind of generosity that inspired an idea for a platform where there is a mutual kind of benefit between locals and non-locals, and in effect, creating a revived “brand” for the city.

Currently, this proposal has been submitted to the local government, and I am hoping that it could have the potential to be developed. Similarly, I’d love to do local development by design again, particularly in developing areas which may need it most.
Politecnico di Milano 2012. Team composed of : Katrina Encanto, Andrea di Marco, Lina Loaiza, Stephania Gomez, Siliang Yi.

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