A Day in the Life of a seastar, or slug, or lodgepole pine, or citizen...Every living thing on earth has a round of life and an ideal environment.  Their actions intersect with other living things.  
“The ecological niche of an organism depends not only on where it lives but also on what it does. By analogy, it may be said that the habitat is the organism's "address", and the niche is its "profession", biologically speaking.”    -Odum - Fundamentals of Ecology - W B Saunders 1959     
Even in dense urban environments, people live within ecosystems.  Their food web stretches across continents, oceans.   People are interacting organisms within ecologies.  And citizen actions intersect to form a community.  One citizen's desired round of life, eventually meets several others in time and space. 

Co-design starts the design process by identifying the desired round of life and  environmental stimuli of citizens, whose actions intersect with each other. We challenge citizens to name their environment not simply with their eyes, but, like all other organisms on earth,  with all their other senses.  We ask:  What would you hear, see, smell, taste in your perfect environment?  How would you move around?  We ask them to describe their activities.

Individual activities emerge into a collaborative drawing.

These collaborative images can be very useful for designers, who can use them to gather design criteria with basic human sensory needs in mind. Citizens are experts in the way they wish to live.  Architects and planners are experts in design. The co-design drawing can help each group communicate so the design matches the citizen's niche.  

This process a more personal, interactive form of group graphic facilitation. It really goes beyond graphic facilitation:  instead of recording the conversation of the group as interpreted by the artist, the co-design facilitator takes precise direction from the group. The result is a collaboration of the dreams and desires of private citizens emerging into a collective public design for a shared place. 
 -- Susan