KarmaBank Co-Design Zone
”If the world was designed better we wouldn’t need support.” (Founder, Disability Action Network)
The best projects start from “bottom up”: listening to diverse lifestyles and different abilities, especially from those we aim to support. For an athlete in a wheelchair navigating a world without fully accessible transport or bathrooms, or a refugee mum with an autistic child who came across a rough sea in a small boat, or an elderly pensioner unable to afford life without access to a foodbank,, Necessity is the Mother of Invention: the people we support have “lived experience” of developing creative ways to survive, and often know best what they need. They just lack the resources & network to develop and implement sustainable solutions.
So how do we do it?
- Listen. We don’t start with an idea, and try to make it fit. We start from scratch each time, crafting a fresh solution to a unique individual or requirement.
- Identify issues. What is the core issue out of everything presented? Is there an emergency or urgent need to triage first? What are the long term objectives? How can we ensure a person feels actualised and worthy?
- Ideate/brainstorm solutions that meet the core needs and objectives – even blue sky or way out of the box ideas can provide the creativity needed for crafting a practical plan to resolve seemingly impossible situations.
- Make a Prototype – the distillation of the process into a realistic and achievable plan of action. The simplest prototype is a sheet of A4 and a pen.
- Test the solution. Doesn’t work out as planned? Start again at step 1, rinse & repeat.
When we are asked for support, or to consult on a project or event, KarmaBank applies the 5-step Design Thinking Method:
Most projects are in a constant flow of adaptation, pivoting, improvement, learning by doing and trial by error. Sustainable change doesn’t happen at once, and it may take a few cycles before something sticks. Along with passion, we have lots of patience too 🙂
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.Mary Wollstonecraft
Participatory or Communal Justice: Bring everyone in on designing a better future for all – one that is truly “Just”, without leaving people out.
You, KarmaBank, our volunteers, local residents, local “stakeholders” (shop owners, nurses, gardeners, teachers, kids), councils, other organisations, private corporations, funders…we all have something to contribute to shaping constructive and positive spaces that sustain everyone equally.
Charity is a wonderful thing, but top down charity is a thing of the past – we help each other best together.
A just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you’d be willing to enter it in a random place.John Rawls
KarmaBank is a consultant and developer of creative projects that produce positive and sustainable impact in various ways. Projects don’t always meet expectations, which wastes funding, time and resources. To tackle this:
• We facilitate cooperative networks between organisations to maximise local resources – funding, volunteers, donations, logistics, spaces, trainers – which help projects deliver what they hope to.
• We work in close collaboration with a diverse range of artists and cultural institutions. We conceptualise creative programmes that benefit marginalised and vulnerable voices and provide a platform for artworks on issues that matter.
• We design spaces and wellness programmes that respond to local needs, whether relief services for new refugees, or ongoing outreach and support services for local communities.
Above all, we believe in the beauty of Action taken with Care, Consideration, and Compassion.
Contact us for more information, or to schedule a consultancy here
Any action done with beauty and purity, and in complete harmony of body, mind and soul, is Art.”(B.K.S. Iyengar)