I LIVEsterbro

Design research project

Addressing the needs of community numbers and potentially promoting greater understanding mutual respect and trust 





PROJECT TYPE : Design research

MY PART : Research 


DATE : June, 2011 (2wks)

Vesterbro is a neighbourhood in Copenhagen

Vesterbro has long been home to an eclectic mix of working class families, immigrants, drug users and sex workers, newer, more affluent residents are arriving with different lifestyles and expectations of their community. 


Our research challenge will be to understand better the needs of individual residents and stakeholder groups within the Vesterbro community. These stakeholders include drug users, individuals and groups that provide services to the drug user community, working- and middle-class families and area merchants.

This is not an easy challenge. It will require each of us to examine and overcome personal biases and preconceptions about drug usage and the conflicting rights of residents in a neighbourhood undergoing substantial change. Our aim is not to “solve” the problem of drug usage in Vesterbro, but to probe a bit beyond a superficial understanding of neighbourhood tensions and to find inspiration for design from the lives and experiences of community residents.

Day 1 - Welcome to Vesterbro (photo from John Lynch)

Day 1 - Welcome to Vesterbro (photo from John Lynch)

User Interview 

Almost all respondents took great pride in Vesterbro but the diverse population appeared to be living ‘side by side’, not necessarily ‘hand in hand’. After a series of brainstorming sessions, some concepts intended to increase awareness of community initiatives were then taken to co-creation sessions with selected respondents. Through these co-creation sessions further potential and some pitfalls of the concepts emerged.


Insight & Co-creation 

User co-creation session

User co-creation session

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Made with the amazing people of CIID 2011
Special thanks to John and Hari