Recommendations for Studio

RECOMMENDATIONS for Future Studios/UC Berkeley:

Participatory Methods
Future studio groups should prioritize using participatory processes and methods in their work. That is, residents should be actively engaged in all parts of the process, and any methods of data collection should be carried out by or in conjunction with residents. For example, groups should consider using Photovoice (and “videovoice”) and Participatory GIS methods to allow residents to narrate their communities strengths and concerns. Participatory work ensures that resident perspective and voice drive the process, interpretation of findings, and direction of action. This should not be seen as optional.

Future studio groups should work with residents to improve, enhance, and redevelop the survey instrument using a participatory process that draws on resident knowledge and expertise so that: 1) survey items, language, and flow reflect resident input, 2) the survey can be administered via paper, web, and smart-phone, and 3) the survey can used by residents on regular intervals (e.g. once every two years). Future studio groups should strongly consider holding survey design/development workshops to help build community capacity to collect their own information on an ongoing basis.

Youth Photovoice
Future studio groups should strongly consider using Photovoice as a participatory and interactive method to critically engage youth in improving their community. This method is highly-effective for assessment and action purposes, and promotes critical consciousness among participants that is conducive to shaping short- and long-term social and political action agendas. Moreover, its hands-on visual and media-oriented nature makes it as fun as it is effective.

Bridge UCB/Community Divide
Future studio work should actively involve NR resident participation in the course, including class time. UCB should consider creating a mechanism whereby NR residents can attend studio courses (and related courses) to be trained. This approach is not only truly inclusive, but holds promise to build sustainable community capacity and affords an opportunity for students to learn from resident expertise and perspective in both the classroom and the field. Moreover, this approach is oriented around authentic engagement, power sharing, and equity in knowledge generation.

Develop Online Tools that Promote Sharing Resources
The North Richmond Studio Blog ( is a site that contains findings from the UC Berkeley Community Development Studio 2012. The site could potentially serve as a hub for resources that pertain to North Richmond, as well as catalogue the work of this ongoing studio. Included on the site is a vacant land inventory; assessor information courtesy of Contra Costa County, information about illegal dumping, and resources for grocery store development.


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