This paper presents the experiences and reflexions of a design practitioner working in the field of community development. The case illustrates how participatory design processes can contribute to social change. The paper tells a story of design process where youths from a local school in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in the suburbs of Copenhagen, designed and constructed colourful and imaginative dustbins to handle problems with local littering. The project was successful in creating an increased local awareness of waste management and reducing the amount of litter. However, the more important but less tangible result of the design process was the change it produced in the social relations in the neighbourhood. By giving them the opportunity to work as designers, the process contributed to a shift in the image of the youths from one of 'troublemakers' to a positive image of collaborative problem solvers.
Frandsen, M. S., & Pfeiffer Petersen, L. (2012). From 'troublemakers' to problem solvers: Designing with youths in a disadvantaged neighbourhood. P D C, 2, 105-108. https://doi.org/10.1145/2348144.2348178