“Lo Por Venir”, design and art therapy come together to give a second chance to people at risk of social exclusion.
18 Oct 2022 /

“Lo Por Venir”, design and art therapy come together to give a second chance to people at risk of social exclusion.

It is always said that design —good design— improves people’s lives. And that it can also improve the lives of people at risk of social exclusion, help their integration, or even their personal well-being. In this project, design goes hand in hand with art therapy, a discipline that trains professionals so that they can accompany people experiencing difficulties in social, educational or health areas, as they develop through creativity. The objective of “Lo por Venir” (“What is to Come”) is to combine the experience of design professionals and art therapists in a co-creation project aimed at social inclusion, providing them with joint training and putting their experience with work groups into practice in a project on which Valencia, World Design Capital 2022, has been collaborating with IDECART.

“Diversity, inclusion, cooperation and awareness-raising are the main pillars of this project that seeks to bring together design professionals and art therapists in a common goal: to facilitate a co-design experience with groups at risk of social exclusion that will allow them, thanks to their experience of design and art therapy, to generate objects, products or campaigns that share a common commercial outlet, helping to improve the quality of life of users”, Ana Hernández, founding member of IDECART, tells us.

“With these people, what we want to do is activate a creative process that will allow them to materialise, make visible and demonstrate the capacity of social design and co-creation in dynamics that can also benefit them in their personal growth and well-being”, Ana goes on to say.

To this end, and with the scholarship from Valencia World Design Capital 2022», a group of ten design professionals began specific training to learn how to work with groups at risk of social exclusion, under the guiding hands of María Montero-Ríos, Xavier Giner and María Colomer. In turn, eight art therapists were also selected to form joint teams and to begin giving workshops as of February 2021.

“The design professionals and art therapists were selected on account of their ties to and interest in social design, and they are currently sharing a space for reflection and rapprochement between these two disciplines of art therapy and design for co-creation”, Ana explains.

The objective is to generate proposals that will allow these groups to have continuity, not just from now until 2022, but with a long-lasting vision of the project. And along the way, to be able to show society the collective development projects that have favoured the social inclusion of these people.

During the first stage of the project, the designers and art therapists met and underwent training to be able to offer the workshops to people at risk of social exclusion. After training together, they formed teams to take responsibility for each group of users, in this case from the organisation Koopera, dedicated to textile recycling, and Novaterra, as part of its programme Dona Emprén.

By bringing the two disciplines together, design and art-therapy, the project enables the users of the workshops not only to connect with their creativity in a liberating manner thanks to the psychological and artistic techniques of the therapists, but moreover, with the accompaniment of the designer, they learn about the procedures and tools inherent to this discipline to channel their creativity into an end product, a palpable and consumable object that is, in turn, a good solution to a problem, in short, an object of value in itself.

The good results have increased the motivation of the organizers to hold new workshops for people with mental health problems and also in cooperation with juvenile facilities.