Location: Ecuador
Date: August, 2013
Programme: Change by Design
Project partners: IAEN, Community Development Committee Los Pinos
Activities: Advocacy/Learning and Capacity Building
Team: Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, Isis Nunez Ferrera and Naomi Shinkins

This workshop was aimed at defining design options for the future upgrading of Los Pinos, a peri-urban informal settlement located in the municipality of Mejia, south of Quito. By investigating ways that residents can be meaningfully involved in the design process, they become active agents of change, rather than beneficiaries of top-down projects. The workshop carried out a series of activities to facilitate a participatory articulation of residents’ layered needs and aspirations, which aims to contribute to the elaboration of an open-ended, neighbourhood-wide development strategy. Workshop activities included group discussions, focus groups, network mapping and dreaming through drawing. It has been vital that activities are accessible and understandable for all participants, using drawing and modelling to help residents visualise design ideas. 

Change by Design aims to contribute to ongoing debates and contribute to the realisation of the national development agenda ‘Buen Vivir’ (Good Living) in an urban context and pursue goals expressed at the Contrato Social por la Vivienda’ in 2005. After the workshop, two participants continued working in Los Pinos as ASF-UK interns for five months, supporting the elaboration of the community management plan. The interns were supervised by the team from Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, who since the workshop has set up a technical assistance group to support Los Pinos’ residents. 

The findings of the workshop created key recommendations: mechanisms are needed to harmonise constitutional principles with local territories; generate social projects to strengthen communities; encourage transparent and fluid communication between local government and neighbour organisations; and work on intercultural aspects. 


2 5-month internships
2 week workshop involving 35 international participants
6 months of preparations before the workshop

Read the Change by Design Ecuador Report here

Architecture Sans Frontières UK is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1123786.
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