Design Workshop - Summary:

A Design Workshop is an intensive, hands-on workshop that brings people from different disciplines and backgrounds together to explore design options for a particular area or site.

Description:  Design Workshops are 'a fun and innovative way to engage the public, especially in projects where there is a significant landscape, streetscape, or other interesting design element.
Citizens, Professionals, City Commissioners & Staff
Public Workshop
workshops. The goal of the workship process is to capture the vision, values, and ideas of the community - with designers sketching to create alternatives and ideas as fast as they can be generated by the participants.

Design workshops are a good way to build positive enthusiasm and energy for your project and, at the same time, be responsive to the creativity of the community.' (Source:

Used For:

To bring citizens, decision-makers and designers together to build a new or alternative vision for an area or site through a creative process of team work and competition.

Suitable participants:

Any, although the process relies on working with professional designers, planners or architects.


Low - Medium - High

  • The cost will depend on how many meetings take place and whether the professional designers charge for their time.

Time Requirements:


When To Use / What It Can Deliver:

  • When seeking to explore options for changing an area or site by tapping into both the needs and values of those who live there and the expertise of professional designers and decision-makers.

When Not To Use / What It Cannot Deliver:


  • Creative and dynamic
  • Encourages collaboration between groups that would not traditionally work together in a planning process
  • Allows a number of different options and scenarios to be explored
  • Gives designers insights into a community's needs and values they may not otherwise get
  • Gives citizens the opportunity to be directly involved in designing solutions for their local area


Can raise unrealistic expectations about what will happen when the process finishes. Facilitators and organizers must take care to explain what they are committing to and what the scope for change is.
Public workshops include community members, design professionals, and other project staff. They can take place in a single session or be spread out among two or three