Abstract

Design expertise is increasingly being applied in projects that aim to promote people's wellbeing. Relatively little knowledge, however, exists on appropriate and effective ways to organize such Design-for-Wellbeing (DfW) projects. This paper sets out to explore this topic. First, we propose that DfW projects are distinct in their aim to create opportunities for people to engage in meaningful and fulfilling activities. Then we turn to the Capability Approach, which focuses on creating conditions for people to expand their capabilities. We explore several principles that would be needed in organizing DfW projects: promoting participation and empowerment; improving external conditions and personal resources; and facilitating freedom and accounting for diversity. The paper closes with a discussion of design expertise and an example of a tool that can help to focus a project on enabling people to expand relevant capabilities.

This content is only available as a PDF.