About "Sharing Tucker"
The WVU Rural Tourism Design Team is a transdisciplinary team of West Virginia University faculty members that uses the principles of social design and participatory planning to support the sustainable development of tourism in West Virginia.
The team is currently partnering with the Tucker Community Foundation and Tucker County Cultural District Authority to conduct research, planning, and design in support of the development of a cultural tourism performance agenda for Tucker County through funding support provided by the Benedum Foundation. In 2013, Tucker County citizens established the first county-wide Cultural District Authority in West Virginia.
In 2016 the Design Team initiated a robust research and design agenda which included:
- Community profile
- Key informant interviews
- Resident attitudes survey
- Visitor preferences survey
- Economic impact analysis (current and development options)
- Identifying and Mapping tourism assets and opportunities
- Landscape design/visualization of sites targeted for development
- Developing cultural tourism itineraries
- Brochure and wayside exhibit design
- Identifying and designing a cultural identity for each community and the county
- Strategies for long term planning and managed growth
- Tourism development case study video
Design is a process of researching and innovating solutions to opportunities identified. It works well in collaboration and its methods can be shared with communities. Design offers aesthetic skills and organization skills, both visual and contextual to help a group track and realize goals. The most basic goal of design is to improve an existing situation, be it environmental, behavioral, or communication. For communities, this could mean devising projects that can improve the life of the community or populations within the community. The School of Graphic Design helped the community of Scotts Run in its first steps toward realizing its vision by developing a history museum and trail, branding an arts and music row, packaging projects that can be proposed to groups, funders and grants organizations to realize more steps.
Funding from the Campus Compact LINK grant from the Benedum Foundation.
Participatory design is an approach to design that attempts to actively involve all stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners, customers, citizens, end users) in the design process to help ensure that the product designed meets their needs and is usable. The term is used in a variety of fields as a way of creating environments that are more responsive and appropriate to their inhabitants' and users' cultural, emotional, spiritual and practical needs. The key attribute of participatory design is that it is a process which allows multiple voices to be heard and involved in the design, resulting in outcomes which suit a wider range of users. The participatory design process was employed to develop an outdoor classroom in Wyoming County, WV, the Miners Memorial Park in Everettville, WV, and visioning for the town of Itmann, WV.