What is co-design?

And Also Too uses co-design to create tools for liberation and visionary images of the world we want to live in. Co-design is a collaborative, community-based, consentful practice of designing with people and groups committed to building a more just and beautiful future.

Our work is guided by two core beliefs: first, that those who are directly affected by the issues a project aims to address must be at the center of the design process, and second, that absolutely anyone can participate meaningfully in design.

We are proud contributors and signatories to the Design Justice Principles, which guide every aspect of our work.

Illustration diagram of our co-design process. The graphic is composed of seven steps, each represented by a scene of people working. There are arrows connecting the steps in a clockwork motion. There are also smaller, dotted arrows that connect different steps throughout the diagram, which suggests we may jump from one step to the next in a non-linear fashion.

What our Process Looks Like

For us, the process is as critical as the end result. The conventional design process is a linear set of clearly defined steps, but co-design is more organic and often non-linear, as it prioritizes relationship building, flexibility, and mutual learning. It is through these processes — not the end of them — that we build on the boundless creative power of communities working toward a shared goal.


Process Overview

Illustration diagram of our co-design process.

Gather Your People

The process begins with the people and communities that are directly impacted by the issues you’re working on.

  • Get to know your community
  • Plan out the co-design process
  • Assemble an advisory of people directly impacted by the issue
  • Organize logistics for co-design sessions and advisory input

Understand the Project

We’ll work together to develop a shared understanding of what your tool or resource needs to do, and determine a scope of work.

  • Ask you lots of questions
  • Facilitate co-design activities to ground the content of the design brief
  • Create a design brief based on your responses
  • Participate in co-design activities
  • Tell us about the issue you’re working on
  • Tell us about the objectives, audiences/users, messages, and guiding values of your project

Conduct Research

We’ll gather and generate information about the issue, the people, the resources, and the context.

  • Review relevant background materials
  • Research existing designs
  • Conduct participatory research to better understand the needs of people who will use and/or be impacted by the design
  • Participate in co-design activities
  • Provide relevant materials and information

Create Concepts

Together, we’ll generate ideas about what your tool or resource will do and what it will look like, then select the one to move forward with.

  • Co-create ideas for tools, resources, and images
  • Synthesize the ideas into concepts
  • Demonstrate the concepts in action
  • Provide advice on how to present content
  • Participate in co-design activities
  • Provide feedback on concepts
  • Select the strongest and most feasible concept

Develop the solution

We’ll bring the selected concept to life.

  • Create draft layouts
  • Implement design and content changes
  • Produce final art files and send to printer/developer etc.
  • Provide content
  • Review and provide revisions on drafts
  • Provide final sign-off

Release and distribute

We’ll support you in making the tool available to your communities.

  • Oversee the delivery of the final product
  • Celebrate with you!

Release and distribute the tool!

Evaluate & Iterate

These projects are long-term commitments and often unearth additional needs, so it’s important to regroup and evaluate.

  • Debrief with you on the process & outcomes
  • Work with you to plan out next steps, if appropriate
  • Meet with us to debrief
  • Consider whether there will be future improvements or iterations

Want to Know more about Co-designing tools for liberation?

Frequently Asked Questions

About Co-design

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Co-designing With Us

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