Innovation & Technology Product Design

Marco Padda


I’m primarily interested in Social Design, and applying design thinking to tackle complex social challenges. With a focus on local-scale participatory design, I advocate for early community involvement and forge partnerships with key stakeholders to effectively leverage local assets. Additionally, I prioritise integrating sustainable themes into my projects, striving for environmentally and socially inclusive outcomes.

LinkedIn - Marco Padda
Ground Up
Our Space Our Place

Ground Up

Ground Up is a global soil comparison platform facilitating the exchange of agricultural techniques and innovative soil recipes. Its primary aim is to promote local farming practices, alleviating strain on the global food system. With projected temperature rises and concerns over depleted soils by 2033, Ground Up addresses these challenges by connecting individuals and communities facing similar climate-related growing challenges. By linking communities with comparable soil types, the platform fosters invaluable knowledge-sharing opportunities, enabling the development of resilient farming communities worldwide.

Employing a sophisticated system of comparative soil analysis, Ground Up seamlessly connects global communities, fostering collaboration and sharing sustainable farming practices. This approach not only enhances agricultural productivity but also promotes environmental sustainability. By leveraging the collective wisdom and experiences of farmers and agricultural experts from diverse regions, Ground Up empowers communities to adapt to changing environmental conditions and thrive in an uncertain future.

Ground Up Soil Sampler and App

Growers utilise the sampler to test a small portion of their soil and connect with others globally who share similar soil compositions.

Ground Up User Journey

Ground Up App Interface

Our Space Our Place

Our Space Our Place is a visionary place-making initiative aimed at empowering residents to shape the development of their local green and open spaces. Originating from a recognised lack of infrastructure development and maintenance in parks across socio-economically challenged areas of North Glasgow, this concept seeks to address these shortcomings.

Operating within a participatory framework, the project is dedicated to ensuring that these spaces are developed to better serve the needs of the local community. At its core, the initiative hinges on a collaborative partnership between the Springburn Park Men’s Shed and the Barmulloch Community Development Company

The culmination of this pilot project in Robroyston Park is a community-designed park bench. Serving as a catalyst for community cohesion, this intergenerational experience involves the Men’s Shed crafting the bench and local youth groups sharing their ideas for park improvements. Those ideas were then wood-burned onto “Our Bench”, fostering a sense of ownership and transforming the bench into a storytelling object that reflects the community’s collective vision for the future of the park.

Complementing the bench is a 3-stage “Community Project Blueprint” designed to help local residents navigate their own open-space enhancement projects based on the feedback gathered and engraved onto “Our Bench”.

The project will continue throughout the summer, with further engagement planned with local youth groups, where additional drawings will be added to the bench.

Poster Image

Render of 'Our Bench' in situ, in Robroyston Park

Our Bench Plaque

Engraved plaque showcasing the collaboration between the Springburn Park Mens Shed and Barmulloch Community Development Company

Our Space Our Place Service Map

Community Project Blueprint

A Framework booklet designed to empower residents to carry out their own open-space improvement projects

Key Moment Image - Our Bench

The wood-burned drawings on Our Bench also serve to spark conversations among community members, fostering dialogue about desired park improvements and potential actions to achieve them.

Wood-Burned Ideas and Insights

Engraving on 'Our Bench' reflecting residents' desire for more frequent grass cutting in Robroyston Park.

Collaborative Mapping Session

Residents engage in a collaborative mapping session, sharing their ideas for park enhancements prompted by specific questions and prompts. Additionally, they discuss potential sites for a new speculative seating area following a community litter-picking event.

Our Space Our Place 'Green Space Journal'

The Our Space Our Place 'Green Space Journal' was created to address a lack of youth engagement in the initial research phase. It compiles questions from previous surveys and meetings, providing children aged 9-13 a platform to express their experiences in and around Robroyston Park through drawings or writing. This approach allows them to share insights and experiences in a non-traditional consultation format. The feedback is then analysed, and a number of drawings are chosen to be wood-burned onto 'Our Bench', to tell the story of what they want from open-space development projects in the near future.

Collaborative Mapping Insight

Insights from a collaborative mapping session, highlighting the desire for more seating areas and potential locations in Robroyston Park