Adapting participatory design tools in design through research (DTR) models to develop sustainable projects in sensitive territories. Case analysis.


  • Inga Urbonaitė-Vadoklienė LCC international university
  • Gerda Antanaitytė



sustainable design process, participatory design, sensitive territories, community engagement, urban design, cultural identity


Urban development, or architectural design in fragile (sensitive) territories is always complicated, especially when one considers national, regional, reserve parks, or other territories that have a lot of sociocultural meaning to society, and local communities. Following strict rules and planning regulations is not always the answer as it sometimes becomes a formal procedure for bureaucrats to ban innovative solutions. One of the main reasons for such complicated development in sensitive territories is a lack of proper models of the design process.

The article analyzes three design through research project cases developed by authors, which share common goal - to improve the quality of the environment using innovative and contemporary solutions, deal with landscape sustainability and local identity issues by involving community into design process.

Presented samples reveal three different design through research and participatory design models. In each case site planning projects are initiated by different groups, therefore motives for the project implementation differ. That determines the sample of public inclusion, scope of fulfilled research, design solutions and capabilities for sustainability of the project. Comparative analysis of these cases summarize strengths and weaknesses of each model and form recommendations for similar territorial development in the future.