A change and design tool to address issues together

Discover the Co-Design Canvas

The practical change tool for today's challenges

Complex social issues, such as the challenges in healthcare and energy transition, are difficult to understand and address because no single stakeholder or organization is solely responsible. Many issues are interconnected and constantly changing. As a result, challenges are neglected and stakeholders are unable or unwilling to make important decisions. This calls for new approaches, such as co-design.

Wina Smeenk, Professor of the Research Group Societal Impact Design, has developed the Co-Design Canvas. This is a change or design tool that people working collaboratively on complex social issues can use to arrive at a clear approach and evaluation.

On this page you will find all the information about the Co-Design Canvas.

Dutch? Read more here

What is co-design?

In co-design processes, we work intensively, creatively and participatively with those involved in a complex situation. This can include issues around dementia, Covid, privacy, security, undermining, obesity and circular economy. With co-design, we want to discover and share the interests, knowledge, experience and influence of all those involved. Do we have a better understanding of the situation and perspectives? Then we go on a joint creative search for opportunities to change the situation. Not so much to solve the issue, but to deal with it better.

Co-design in practice

The Co-Design Canvas supports coalitions of different stakeholders with a clear co-design approach. This approach facilitates making shared and fundamental co-design decisions. The Canvas and its accompanying guide helps stakeholders find common ground and literally read off the same page.

The Co-Design Canvas poster and manual

This first prototype of the Co-Design Canvas and accompanying manual (Smeenk, Bertrand & Köppchen, 2021) was developed in the SIScode H2020 project. Read more about the development here (in Dutch). In 2023, a new version of the Canvas has been published.

The Canvas connects people and ideas, uses collective knowledge and lets people work together. The Canvas is a tool that supports in facilitating an open and transparent dialogue.

The Co-Design Canvas book

A proven design tool for societal impact

This practical book by Wina Smeenk (2023), published in English by BIS, introduces the practical Co-Design Canvas and its manual as an easy-to-use tool. The book explains what co-design means, how the canvas can be applied, and gives examples of its use in reality.

Learn more about the book

The Co-Design Canvas paper

A Tool for Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Co-Design Processes

This paper by Wina Smeenk (2023), published in the International Journal of Design, introduces the empathetic Co-Design Canvas as an intermediate-level knowledge product. It is based on an existing theoretical framework, an empirical case study and several experiences in education and practice.

News about the Co-Design Canvas

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