Introduction: Placemaking Workshop

This DIY workshop template is intended to spark meaningful conversation about the act of placemaking. Designed for a wide range of stakeholders from designers to funders to community members, participants are asked to share their knowledge and spark focused dialogue. It can be used at the outset of any placemaking initiative as well as more DIY brainstorming to consider placemaking opportunities.

Cards are used to ask a question on one side and the other side tells the participants how to answer through one of three actions; list, draw, and map. These categories can be identified by a distinct color without needing to read or flip the card over. Color also emphasizes the key word being asked to help participants stay relevant when discussing the question. Using the .pdf files attached, these cards can be printed in any graphic software and are formatted to fit a set of 8 to print on a letter (8.5" x 11") piece of paper. Print both sides of the cards on the same sheet. A round corner punch is suggested to cut out each individual card but can also be cut with a regular paper cutter as well.


Card Designs

Graphic Software

Round Corner Punch or Regular Paper Cutter

Map Outlines Printed on Paper

Regular White Paper


Step 1:

Place all participants into groups of two to three. For each group give a card, piece of paper, and a sharpie. Give the pair ten minutes for collaboration to answer the prompt.

Note: Printed Maps should be handed out with the corresponding mapping cards. Lined paper can be distributed with list prompts, but can also use blank white paper. Draw cards only use white paper. Time can also be adjusted to fit time slot, but must be long enough to have meaningful conversation. Can also be encouraged to go longer if participants are deep in conversation.

Step 2:

Collect the used paper and cards. Participants can find new partners or stay within their groups. Redistribute cards so that everyone receives a different action card and new question. Give another ten minutes for coming up with solutions.

Step 3:

Collect used paper and cards. For a final time, have participants find new partners and redistribute cards so that they receive their last action prompt and question. Give another ten minutes to discuss the problem.

Step 4:

Debrief by having participants share any notable topics that were brought up by discussing with the entire group.

Step 5:

Use the collected piece of paper for notes and ideas on how to implement meaningful placemaking and next steps for further community engagement.