Using Theory of Change to support participatory visual mapping in urban transformation projects

Hadas Zohar, Luca Simeone, Nicola Morelli, Laura Martelloni, Dario Marmo

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Theory of Change was created as a logic planning model to explore and represent a potential change in a way that reflects a complex and systemic understanding of development. Even though it is a familiar tool in the context of community initiatives and philanthropic projects, Theory of Change is under-applied in design as a problem-solving practice and underexplored within design research. Design projects that are looking for more comprehensive ways of negotiating change can greatly benefit from it to inform a deep understanding of the dynamics of change. This paper
focuses on how a designerly approach to Theory of Change can support participatory visual mapping, thus creating some enabling conditions towards transformation in cities, namely: facilitating more granular communication, suggesting a multifaceted and systemic perspective, helping to navigate complexity by creating shared mental models among stakeholders, fostering thinking through different temporalities, and boosting creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 23rd dmi: Academic Design Management Conference Proceedings : Design as a Strategic Asset
Number of pages15
Place of Publication24 Thorndike Street, 2nd Floor Cambridge, MA 02141 USA
PublisherDesign Management Institute
Publication date23 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2022
EventDesign Management as a Strategic Asset dmi: : Academic Design Management Conference - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 3 Aug 20224 Aug 2022


ConferenceDesign Management as a Strategic Asset dmi:
Internet address
SeriesThe Design Management Institute


  • Theory of Change
  • participatory design
  • visual mapping
  • urban transformation


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