Percorsi Nel Parco

A design-led educational experience

Percorsi Nel Parco is an 8-months project developed by POLIMI DESIS Lab in collaboration with the Mental Health Department of Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale of the Spedali Civili di Brescia and “Il Chiaro del Bosco Associazione O.N.L.U.S.”, a non-profit association based in Brescia. It focused on fostering social inclusion for young people with mental health disorders involving them in a design process aimed to requalify part of the green area of the ex-psychiatric asylum in Brescia.

The project’s aim was to engage young participants from mental health services and high school to experience and deal with a set of design methods and tools supporting and encouraging them to test their creativity and develop new capabilities and skills, including: to design and conduct user interviews; to do desk and field research; to use open source graphic software; to model a 3d architectural scale prototype; to create storyboards; to set up a photographic set and to photo-edit stop motion videos.

During the process, caregivers and strategic local actors were involved as experts with the intention of strengthening the bond with existing local services and resources.

The outputs of the project, realized by young participants with the design team support and the help of some facilities of the territory such as the local FabLab, were a 3D scale model of the park realized with the laser cut technique and two stop motion videos showing the new scenarios emerged from the collaborative design process and workshops: 1. An educational park where students and citizens have the possibility to learn about agriculture and healthy food by attending open labs and seminars and to practice in a didactic greenhouse and community garden; 2. A leisure green area open to the city for experimenting social inclusion through culture thanks to an open lab for theatre and music training and a yearly programme of cultural events involving local theatre companies, musicians, and artists in general – with a particular attention to young groups.