Co-Design Process Used to Determine Best Library and Park Site

Primary author: Robert Krikac
Co-author(s): Michael Sanchez

Primary college/unit: Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Campus: Pullman


Royal City, Washington is a rural community located in central Washington with a young and growing population. It also has many challenges that are associated with growth, two of which are outgrowing its small library and the need for increased park space. The City of Royal City requested the Rural Communities Development Initiative (RCDI) at WSU work with them to determine which of two sites for a park and new library would best serve the needs of the community.

The RCDI, using faculty and students from the design disciplines of the School of Design and Construction, led a series of two co-design workshops where community stakeholders provided input as to the community’s specific needs and wants of their park and library site. Co-design is “designing with” rather than “designing for”. The major issues identified were ease of access, safety, challenges and opportunities posed by the geography of each location.

The RCDI developed plans that gave the community graphic views of how each site could be designed to accommodate a new library and serve the recreational needs of the town. The first workshop was documented and design possibilities and challenges were presented back to the community in a second workshop where stakeholders decided that one site’s features clearly made it the best choice for park and library expansion. Feedback from the second workshop was used to develop final conceptual plans that the city is using to proceed with more detailed designs and future construction.