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Episode 26 | Making Public Space Productive

Chelina Odbert and Jennifer Toy of the Kounkuey Design Initiative share their thoughts on how to engage community.

Episode 26 | Making Public Space Productive

About Kounkuey Design Initiative
The Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) began when six Harvard Design School students nearing graduation asked a question: Can we use our skills towards social justice rather than at the big design firms we are expected to join? One of the six, Arthur Adeya, was from Kenya, so they decided to investigate answers in Kibera, a large informal settlement in Nairobi.

When KDI began work in Kibera, they recognized this was not their community and they did not want to impose their assistance nor create an innovative design to address a problem they identified in a vacuum. Instead, they sought guidance from experts: the residents of Kibera. They also came up with a name for their organization: Konkuey, a Thai word that means, “get to know intimately.”

Kounkuey Design Initiative is a Curry Stone Foundation Social Design Circle Honoree. Read more about it here.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our sound engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Taryn Turner, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation, for pulling everything together.