The Unofficial Archive

Melting Pot by Heather Daam

Melting Pot

Photo by René van der Hulst

The Melting Pot process is a collaboration between a designer, a social worker, and a group of children as a means of improving the quality of life, or well-being, of the greater neighbourhood. It focuses on neighbourhoods being shaped by the people who live there, rather than outsiders imposing their perspective, impacting them from the inside out. The experts on the neighbourhood are the people who live there. The process is designed in such a way that it must empower the children as a means of achieving the final outcome; initiatives that impact the neighbourhood. Empower¬ing the children is about tapping into their strong voice and fresh point of view, and working together through the entire process of bringing their ideas to life. Allowing them to be a part of “doing something with what they are saying”. (P. Berrenstein). The Melting Pot is a process supported by tools and methods designed to stimulate collaboration, empower the children, and shape the neighbourhood from the children’s point of view. It employs a metaphor as a means of encouraging the children to express themselves. The project as a whole is a start to defining how design can integrate the target group into the entire process, not only as a means of gaining insight, but as a means of empowering the target group for the future.

Heather Daam