We spearheaded academic research in leading universities and professional practice organizations to position the citizen-centered design movement at the intersection of design and public policy. In the decades that followed, the movement grew to encompass various efforts around the globe, from organizations and collaborations to community design centers sponsored by academic institutions. The principles of the citizen-centered design movement were encapsulated in 2004, within the emerging field of Mindful Policy Engagement. This field was built on the body of knowledge accumulated since the 1960's on citizen participation research and practices. Around the turn of the century, citizen engagement research and practices were reformulated through the lens of more effective approaches and paradigms in the social and applied sciences, to provide rigorous theoretical basis for a body of best case studies and best practices within the field of Mindful Policy Engagement founded by the eminent architect, urban planner and policy expert Dr. B. Schaban-Maurer author of Rise of the Citizen Practitioner and a pioneer of Open Source Architecture and Open Design.
Since then, Phronetic Engagement practitioners and academics have increased the reach and influence of the citizen-centered design movement on other fields through inter-disciplinary collaborations, publications, conferences, and international exhibitions. In the last decade, The Mindful Policy Engagement field and the citizen-centered design movement have spawned smaller, derivative subsets of various names, most prominent of which is 'social impact design' and 'public interest design' whose adherents combine design practice with social service. We are thrilled that our early efforts, decades ago, are being propelled forward by new sensibilities through the continued commitment of architects, urban designers, planners, policy-makers and other stakeholders to engage and harness the knowledge of ordinary citizens in the design, development and implementation of urban policies, for projects that impact the very communities where we all live and work.
We will continue to guide and encourage all efforts to make our democracy stronger through deliberation and direct engagement between all citizens, and to extend the role of design in our communities by harnessing a fully participatory engagement process, through self-narrative exchange of local place knowledge, between ordinary citizens and design professionals to shape and inform urban policy, extending the field of Phronetic Engagement and the principles of the citizen-centered design movement.