RHS co-design workshop pilots

HERE+NOW have enjoyed working on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society to pilot a series of three different co-design workshops for community growing spaces.  Responding to three very different spaces and groups of end user, we hope the workshop series demonstrates the value and outcomes of co-design workshops to empower young people to become engaged in local greenspace projects. 


We worked in collaboration with two Barnardo's sites and a third potential growing space for Youth Action Partnership. The aim of each workshop was to put the end user front and centre of a community garden design process. 


We designed and piloted three different design workshops to demonstrate a range of ways in which these can be done: each workshop invited stakeholders and future users to engage in a discussion and aspiration building session. After the workshop, HERE+NOW collated the conversations, ideas, findings and ambitions as an illustrated report culminating in an aspirations graphic for the community garden site.  


Each site is very different in scale, the potential uses, context, and the people who would be using the site. Together the three sites form a suite of projects that demonstrate what is possible by using design workshops to develop community growing spaces. They record three scenarios that can be translated into future projects, and HERE+NOW’s series of reports is intended to capture the processes so they can be adapted to a range of future spaces and user groups.

 

a New Year of meaningful participation!

Happy New Year from all at HERE+NOW! We're really looking forward to our second year in business... we have lots of exciting projects on the go, collaborations we're developing, and events for you to get involved in over the coming months.

In the quiet moments between festivities, we've been doing a bit of thinking and expanding concepts of what co-design means for Landscape Architecture. We wanted to share an inspiring quote which perfectly kick-starts our new year from  Kaplan, Kaplan & Ryan's 'With People in Mind', 1996 (p158): 

' MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION : It seems to be a human quality that one prefers to be treated as if one is capable of understanding and can make a difference. (...) For many reasons, practical as well as moral and conceptual, it is appropriate to consider patterns that encourage including people in the design and management of their nearby natural world.'

This quote is from a book published exactly 20 years ago.  It has never been more relevant or salient; environmental psychology promotes the respect and understanding of how people interact with their spaces and places. With new intention and resolution... HERE is the place, NOW is the time!!

co-building an exhibition!

A massive thank you to everyone who came along on Friday 18th September to help us build the Hold Me Dear exhibition... the sun shone, the team got loads done, and we're nearly ready for the next stage of the installation! Muscles needed for an installation on this scale - the fresh legs at the end of the day were especially welcome! 

It's exciting to think these boards will be installed in the Rodney Street Tunnel next week, bringing it to life and helping people find out about this rich and valued local place.  Who knows what doors it'll open in terms of future art, exhibition, and co-created opportunities for this space. 

Thanks to exhibition Main Sponsor - Sustrans Scotland - and Supporting Partners - The City of Edinburgh Council, Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership, and the Friends of King George V Park, for putting the word out there and helping us get together with a fantastic and supportive team of volunteers, locals and people who are just intrigued how a live-build co-design project might all come together!  Check out our short timelapse video of the first volunteer day below: 

Stop and Sea

On the 4 September 2015 Liz and Jenny from the HERE+NOW team spent a lovely afternoon at Edinburgh's Seaside!  It was a beautiful afternoon to re-imagine the potential for Seafield, near Portobello and chat to people about their thoughts for how this underused space could become a place.  

We brought along about 50 reclaimed clay pots and used sticks, stones, feathers, and other found materials (including a few 'rescued' plants!) to create a temporary pop-up installation which hints at the potential for this rather dirty, avoided space but which has the most wonderful views and sense of sea-shore character. And a few observations from the recent outdoor engagement events we've done recently: 

- The first people to stop and talk to you are usually A. with children or B. with dog/s.
- Not everyone sees the need to maximise use of city space; and they have a point, we do need those breathing spaces which just set the background for life too. 
- The HERE+NOW office needs to invest in a poop-scoop!  

Check out our wee timelapse video here! Stop and Sea 


Co-designing your Locally-Loved cycle and walking routes!

On Wednesday 2 Sept the HERE+NOW team had a brilliant morning talking to the local people of ‪Inverleith Neighbourhood and ‪#Canonmills‬ mapping their favourite local spots in the area near to Rodney St tunnel, ‪‎Edinburgh‬.

These personally treasured places will form a series 'Locally-Loved' walking and cycling routes all starting at Rodney St tunnel, where our Hold Me Dear exhibition will be for a month from 24 Sept, and which give a brilliant insight into the best loved spots by locals nearby.

The month-long outdoor exhibition in Rodney St tunnel is curated by HERE+NOW as part of City Link Festival. It will feature photographs from local people of their favourite spot in their city - Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Istanbul, or Hamburg. Deadline for submissions for photographs is 17 September so find out more or submit your own here...

Thanks to the exhibition Main Sponsor - Sustrans Scotland - and the Supporting Partners - The City of Edinburgh Council, Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership, the Friends of King George V Park, and City Link Festival for their support in enabling this to go ahead.

FIRST EVER EDINBURGH 'HIDDEN FEATURES' FILM-NIGHT!

We're excited to let you know we have just launched our first ever Hidden Features event in Edinburgh! 

This new series of cinema screenings showcases local film-makers short films in unusual hidden city spaces around Edinburgh.  Hidden Features events promote and provide a platform for local film-makers to share their work whilst also revealing and exploring hidden interesting spots of the city.  Each Hidden Features event takes place in a different nook of urban space, transformed into a cinema space for one night only, and has a different theme.  

The first ever Edinburgh-based Hidden Features event will be taking place on Thursday 27 August at 7.30pm along the theme of 'The Secret Life of the City' in a secret EH6 location that will only be revealed to ticket-holders 24 hours ahead of the event.  Tickets can be purchased here.  Pre-booking tickets is essential. Get yours here, with a lovely 20% off by entering discount code EARLYBIRD at checkout.

Hidden Features builds on the series of 'Secret Cinema' events in Australia founded by HERE + NOW Curatorial Director Jenny Humberstone, which brought together volunteers, local stakeholders, film-makers and artists to collaborate and co-create a series of projected film screenings that activated and enlivened vacant or stalled spaces, finding a creative use for these otherwise neglected nooks of the city. 

Join us to explore a hidden nook of urban space transformed for one night only into a secret cinema space screening local film-makers work along the theme 'The Secret Life of the City' . 

HOLD ME DEAR: FOUR CITIES, [EXTRA]ORDINARY PLACES

What place do you treasure in your city? A hidden nook or favourite spot, a great place to sit and watch the world go by or somewhere you've fond memories or nostalgia for? Often the places that mean the most to us may seem everyday or get walked past without a second thought by others, but they hold particular meaning to us. 

HERE+NOW are excited to today announce we are currently working with Givrum, Copenhagen, to openly invite Hold Me Dear submissions for a special exhibition as part of City Link Festival in Edinburgh in September 2015.  Individuals in each of the four recent or upcoming City Link Festival cities - Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Istanbul and Hamburg - are invited to submit a photograph and 50 words about a place in their city they treasure.

These photographs and captions will form a continually growing participatory online gallery in the next couple of months leading up to the Festival, and will then culminate in a physical exhibition in an unusual nook of Edinburgh's urban space as part of City Link Festival from 24-27 September 2015.

Find out more about the project or submit a photograph of a place you treasure in Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Istanbul or Hamburg and help us co-create an exhibition!

HERE+NOW AT HIDDEN DOOR FESTIVAL

HERE+NOW were thrilled to be invited to form part of the programming for Hidden Door Festival 2015. Hidden Door is a not-for-profit arts festival that takes place annually in Edinburgh in abandoned or hidden locations. This years festival took place in a derelict building off King Stables Road near the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

HERE+NOW programmed the Hidden Door Cinema space on Friday 29 with a series of short film screenings, exhibition and participatory installation along the theme of 'Connection to Place'. Films included PEP Talks, Joyce, Inshriach Bothy | A Sense of Place, and Hold Me Dear | The Film. The exhibition included photographic and short story works contributed by individuals worldwide about a place they treasure as part of the Hold Me Dear project as well as photographic prints from Jenny Humberstone and Ian Humberstone's artist residency with The Bothy Project.  We also invited Hidden Door attendees to share a place they personally treasure as part of a live evolving participatory installation in the space.

For those of you that missed out on Hidden Door Festival or the HERE+NOW exhibition, we've a few of our photos below, including the HERE+NOW team having their portrait drawn by the talented James Sayer. These are also available via our Facebook page.


 

special places: COLLECTED.

// The cliffs of Oldshanomore // The window of my home // LDN // Salt marshes of Byfrelly, MA, USA // Old Panbride churchyard, Carnoustie, Angus // Lake Atitlan, Guatemala // here and now // Broch of Gurness, Orkney // Kingoodie Quarry nr Dundee // Meadows at sunset with friends // Rocky Mountains // Leith / my mum's house / anywhere there's water // The Meadows // The Rope Swing, Henry Island, Straits of Juan de Fuca, Washington, USA // Niagara Falls // Wee dub // Home! // Palermo, Sicily // Sardinia beautiful island // The Saddle Peak, Gertrude Valley, Fiordland, New Zealand // My home // The Water of the Firth of Forth // Applecross, Torridon // Fountain Park Cinema! // The willow tree in Figgate Park // La Antilla Beach (Spain) // The barn down the country path. Reminds me of home. // Shenaval bothy near An Tealach Highland Rosshire // Clifftop trail, Dunbar x // My last home. // The sitting room. // Ynys Enlli // Little Haven // Princes St Gdns. To people watch! // A small cabin hidden between the sky and the trees // At the shore of the river in my hometown, during night time, watching the stars // Glen Affric // Kskma, CT, USA // I havent found mine yet. // Llangennith beach // Swimming through a cave in Greece // The family summer house, Fjelberg, Norway // my bed. // Treompan. // My first flat // Santiago de Chile // Kilquhanity House School // Le Havre, France // Milan // Rhodes old town // Crangarra - my mum's garden, graceful and creative // Talla reservoir // The Island of Easdale, Seill // Top of Arthur's Seat // My back garden! // St Berihert's Bubbling Well - holy well in Tipperary // Gran + Grandad's house :) // The shady alley on the way back from tesco // Southend Pier // Porty prom - stroll + sun // Poznan (Poland) // Beautiful project - I think this may be one of my places! Thank you. // My nana's house // A small forest by my grandma's house! // Belmont Cinema in Aberdeen 'A home away from home' // Hawick Moor + Hawick common riding! // Holyrood Park // Kirchberg (a little cabin in the wood in Germany where I used to spend a lot of childhood) // Meadows // My home! // In my garden :) // Cottage up north // Loch of Strathbeg // Portland, Oregon! // Cornwall // Juneour, Alaska // Wild Spirit Backpacker, the Crags, South Africa // North Edinburgh Arts Garden // A special place from Puerto Rico - the cobbled streets of old San Juan, Cueva Ventana, Pinones // Lusanne, Switzerland, I even call it 'Suizabelle' // Arnold Circus Bandstand // Top of the great stone chute, Isle of Skye // Placa Major, Santmarti D'Empuries, Spain // The view of the Clyde from the transport museum after hours // Penna Billi, Italy - best buskers festival ever // Boka Tabla, Curacao (cave in this Caribbean Island) // The Grove 2 // The Heath (Hampstead) // St Lambrecht, Austria // Lily Cottage, Tasmania // Bandelier National Park, New Mexico, USA // Leith Walk // In a 'nook' at the Museum of Scotland with good company + sunshine // Caithness // Malevolent Grove of soft apple blossom high on the mountain // A natural 'soat' on the top of the Crags in Edinburhg. Very peaceful. // Badaran, small town in La Rioja, my Grandpa's home :) // A hill // Independencia - a tiny village in the Bolivian Andes, at about a six hours drive from the next large city // Gairloch sand, sea, starlight… // Brody's Farm // calm, beautiful, original // Inchnadamph, Sutherland // my own garden and studio // 8 steps in + approx 3 steps right, inside Rabbies Tavern at Eden Festival // Wilton windmill, Wiltshire, England // Favourite seat, Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh. // Cornwall // Home! // The Causey in south central Edinburgh // Kilchoman Beach, Islay //

Last Friday 30th May, at our cinema event and participatory installation as part of the Hidden Door Festival, we asked people to add their personal favourite place. Thank you everyone who shared theirs and often the amazing stories behind them. More from the night coming soon!

Hidden Door_special places collected_HERE+NOW_2015


a community brief.

At the Canonmills PEPtalk event, we invited everyone who joined us to contribute to a map of ideas. We handed out three sets of stickers to each person at the beginning of the evening: some for 'ideas', some for 'adds' (things you'd like to add / bring / contribute to someone else's idea) and one to stick on yourself telling us who you are! 

On a blackboard with only an outline map of Canonmills we invited people to post their thoughts, inspired maybe by something they'd heard or reacting to someone else's sticker... by the end of the night our board looked like this! 

An amazing collection of ideas emerged which can be grouped into three big themes:

  1. art and culture
  2. greenspace and growing
  3. routes and facilities.

We've tried to sum these ideas and thoughts up into a graphic which represents a community brief: a plan of action, or an aspiration for change; a starting point for further conversations which we hope will turn into community action! 



PEP talk pilot-ed!

On Friday 24th April we hosted the first ever PEPtalk event, A Night in the City, a theme chosen by the local residents and businesses we had spoken to in the run up to the event as part of the PREP talk development.

It was a great evening with a real variety of people attending : local business owners, residents, friends of the people we teamed up with, as well as visitors from around the city interested in the projects being presented by the speakers.  

And having been part of the evening and the planning of the event, we now realise it was all about the weeks of work we put in through the run up to the PEPtalk itself.  The face to face conversations. The phone calls and emails. The listening.  The interviewing.  We know now that the people who came already had a load of questions and ideas buzzing around because of the discussions we'd had beforehand, and they were there ready to share and listen too.  

And with wine sponsored by the Beerhive, cakes from Joyce's Cake Shop, served in cool compostible wine cups from Vegware, it really felt like a community event.  The speakers, short films, and live-painting by Chris Rutterford all sparked conversations around why we'd want to forge stronger connections between the places, people and organisations based in Canonmills. 

We're in the process now of distilling the ideas from the evening, and look forward to sharing a film, projects sheet and community brief with you very soon. 

C.I.C-ked into shape!

So as you may have read, or heard from us, we are a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. But what does that mean?!  Generally when we think of ‘communities’ we think of a collection of people that function succinctly to benefit the whole group. Or if we looked it up in a dictionary we’d find;

Noun

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

At Here + Now we think that communities can come in many shapes and sizes and the one that we serve is focused on the concept of ‘sharing or having certain attitudes’ and also has geographical relevance as we work with communities that either work, live, play, pass through or connect in anyway with a place.

The place acts as the nucleus of the community. We are working to help, support and collaborate with both the people that create the community and also the place that links them together. A Community Interest Company is a new form of business enterprise and it may appear quite jargon-y on the surface but in reality we are working at Here + Now to benefit people and places. Easy, peasy!

Have a great weekend and keep alive and C.I.Cking !! (sorry I couldn’t resist!)  

MAKING THE CONNECTION

We are excited to be running our first ever 'PEP Talk' event in Canonmills on 24 April.  Hosted by The Yard, and with a series of speakers, performers and artists in the nearby old railway tunnel outdoors all around the topic of 'Night in the City' and more creatives uses of city spaces, this promises to be an inspiring event not be missed (register for your free ticket)! 

But this more than just a fun evening out.  This is an event inspired by our discussions with people local to Canonmills over the past few weeks, and a great way to meet other local people and organisations to build on these discussions, ambitions and opportunities.  It is a catalyst to help activate activism. To build on the desires, ideas and aspirations that diverse people in the community already have, by bringing them together to make connections with one another, be inspired by speakers along a relevant theme, and generate ideas and actions together.  You can start or join the discussion ahead of the event via the PEP Talks Facebook page or using #PEPtalking

The theme 'Night in the City' for this first PEP Talk came out of this initial feedback from local people prior to the event.  This included frequent mention of the old railway tunnel and how it felt scary to walk through at night, and how the tunnel had great potential for more activities and community events.  The PEP Talk event programme has been inspired by these ambitions and opportunities local people have for the area, and will act as a way to make connections with other people interested in developing ideas and possibilities for their local places, all whilst having a fun, informal evening in an unusual city space!

If you'd like to join us at this first ever PEP Talk event, please join us on Friday 24 April at The Yard in Canonmills.  Register here for your free ticket. 

 

Are you speaking my language?

We all use words in our vocabulary that are specific to certain topics or themes. If you work as a designer it’s funny that the word ‘design’ has a limited life span when applied to certain contexts.

What kind of design? What design is appropriate? How should that be designed?

This is a problem we are working through on a current Here + Now project. We are developing how we can translate thoughts, ideas, actions and problems into a pattern language that can be used to build design statements and briefs. If you work within a profession that is normally unfamiliar with describing spaces it can be hard to transition from notions and thoughts into real time briefing and actions.

We’ve been looking into how children see the outdoor environment and it’s been stated that they categorise elements or ‘signifiers’ into two groups; positive + negative elements.

It’s very natural for people to think of things in this way but there are also the ‘grey areas’ the cultural thoughts or changes that may be needed to develop a truly relevant design. Things like ‘safe’ and ‘simulative’ for instance may be more linked to a cultural design pattern language. On the other hand, ideas for a more sheltered area or seating are quite easily defined as physical design statements.

A tool is required to bridge to gap between ‘non-designers’ and designers. A design or pattern language could allow the two to work more collaboratively which is a key aim for the Here + Now team. We try to put people at the heart of our design process and by developing a platform for translating design conversations, we can help the people that make a place really;  make . a . place. 

HIDDEN DOOR FESTIVAL CINEMA 2015

At HERE + NOW we are excited to have been invited to curate a temporary participatory installation and evening of short film screenings as part of Hidden Door Festival in May 2015.  We'll be exhibiting a visually dynamic hand-crafted  installation attendees can add their personal reflections to plus projected films during the day and evening of Friday 29 May within the Hidden Door Cinema Space.  

On Monday there was not only good news - that Hidden Door has been officially given the go-ahead to use the currently vacant Kings Stables Road buildings for the festival -  but we also got a sneak peek of the venue!  

There's something always so interesting about buildings which have laid dormant and under-used for a period of time.  Monday was no exception and it was great to have the doors unlocked to a series of interesting spaces, from the 'peely paint room' to the large warehouse like hanger.  I even stumbled across a newspaper from 2006, which must have lain undisturbed on the dusty floor for almost a decade. 

Great to get a look at the triple garage space with will become the Hidden Door Cinema too and where we will be exhibiting our films and installation - all along a theme of connection to place and sharing of place-specific memories and stories.  Make sure you come and take a look in May! More details will be coming soon.

ESALA Workshops - Settings for Learning

Here + Now CIC in collaboration with Architecture + Design Scotland, held two workshops with students studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh last week. The workshops were held at Edinburgh College of Art on Wednesday 18th February and Friday 20th February. The workshops were designed to test and gain feedback from the students on the ongoing project; Settings for Learning. The project is aimed to identify the settings and strategies that are needed for effective outdoor learning and to 'bridge' the gap between participation and briefing within design projects.

Here + Now CIC facilitated the events whilst Architecture + Design Scotland contributed to the workshops and provided feedback in a final presentation from the students. The workshops were structured by including three stages.

Stage one mainly focused on fieldwork. The students explored their learning environment by adopting user personas. They surveyed the outdoor spaces as these users. They made comments, notes and highlighted opportunities and barriers throughout the exercise. To complete Stage 1 they categorised their feedback and began thinking about priorities, briefing, actions and key thoughts.

The second stage tested the results from the fieldwork against a flow diagram. The diagram asked questions to encourage discussion and debate. This stage encouraged the students to define actions to address the existing conditions in their Settings for Learning and provided an opportunity to define; ‘One action for people’, ‘One action for spaces’ and to highlight ‘One Dream’. This was the start of building a design statement, briefing for action and a pattern language.

The result of this process was a series of visualisations created by the students. The images define actions to improve, change or develop the Settings for Learning in their learning environment. This last stage gave the students an opportunity to visualise these changes and present them back to the rest of the group. Each visualisation focuses on a variety of themes and some of the strongest headlines that evolved from the workshop were:

Stewardship :

no barriers to experiences in the learning environment. Opportunity to learn from doing

Flexibility :

the potential for everything to be a learning experience. The need for  a variety of spatial types.

Pattern language :

a need for a toolkit to allow learners + teachers to talk the ‘design language’

The next stage is to develop the workshop process further to utilise the feedback obtained from students.  The students at the University were vital in the process of creating a method for building effective Settings for Learning and their visualisations illustrate the great potential of the learning opportunities in our landscapes. Thank you students!

Here + Now are looking forward to refining and adapting the project and feeding forward into a workshop structure that could be a vital tool for affecting change in the way schools and learning centres approach outdoor learning experiences and environments.

TINY POLICE BOX EXHIBITION

HERE + NOW have been taking to the streets over the last few weeks to talk to the local people of Canonmills, Edinburgh as part of the PEP Talks project in collaboration with Architecture + Design Scotland.  This weekend we had a truly tiny exhibition of our PREP Talks film in which we spoke to a range of people about their hopes and aspirations for the local area.  

This tiny exhibition took place in a unique miniature sized urban space - the local police box in Canonmills - and invited passers-by to come and join the discussion about their local neighbourhood, gain inspiration from the film by seeing what their neighbours are already suggesting, and stop and have a chat about their views of the area.

The Canonmills police box has historically been a community focal point in the neighbourhood so made the perfect setting for a community-oriented exhibition.  It has recently been bought by the lovely Moira, who will be transforming it over the coming months into a florist bursting with life called 'CornerCopia'.  Thanks to Moira for partnering with us on this event!

Find out more about our process and its focus on people, place and participation and the ways we design, engage and curate.

empathy

Empathy.

Design thinking for placemaking.

It might seem the most logical thing - to apply the test cycle process of DESIGN THINKING, with its focus on responding to and understanding needs, to the design of places - but this is very rarely the focus with which we design and construct the spaces and places we live.

The design thinking model starts with empathy.

Empathy for the ‘user’, both human and environmental, and for a particular place or context. Yet what drives the design of most places? That bottom line : economics. Someone is paying for this after all!

But what if we can use the design thinking model to empathise, understand, then develop ideas and prototypes, which are tested and then iterated, to create

rich,

robust,

real,

respected,

landscapes.

We think that would become pretty sustainable, and also really exciting!

Next week we are running a workshop over two days at ESALA working with landscape architecture students to explore how these concepts can help to shape a tool for bringing together the ethics of design thinking with an aim to enable greater use of outdoor spaces as effective learning opportunities.

We hope the students will take the prototype we’ve developed so far – which has arisen from an analysis of the needs and aspirations of learners and teachers – and really test it as the students take on personas. The first stage is to empathise, getting under the skin of that specific person’s needs.

Through the workshops, we’re hoping a new generation of placemakers is inspired by how this applies to landscape architecture, and takes forward these emerging concepts into practice.

This is part of the Settings for Learning project, developed in conjunction with, and supported by, Architecture + Design Scotland.

UX DESIGN... FOR PLACE-MAKING

User Experience Design (or UX Design) is a contemporary discipline that has emerged over the last decade or so, and normally applies to the digital design world. Websites. Apps. Digital interfaces. It advocates user-centred design thinking to create great digital experiences by considering the end user at every stage of the design process.  This enables quick, responsive design development that generates the most robust, appropriate and user-validated design solutions. 

At HERE + NOW we want to apply the best practice and lessons learned from this innovative, contemporary, fast-evolving, agile and iterative user-centred design process from the parallel design industry of UX Design to the world of landscape architecture and place-making.  

Traditionally, built environment disciplines, operating in the physical rather than digital realm, have longer delivery time lines, greater overall cost due to requiring construction in the physical world, are resource intensive, and create places whose design is harder to adapt or change once built if something isn’t quite working.  End-user feedback via post-build evaluation methods of these places once constructed is rarely done, and if done is too late to act upon. This makes it easy for average or poor design solutions to continue, based on assumptions about how that place should function for the people that will use it.  Whilst some community engagement may be conducted, and is increasingly being used through landscape architecture and design, this is often only at one or two points in the design process and limited in its approach.

Surely this is an industry that would benefit hugely from more user-centred processes that enable earlier identification of potential end-user problems, help build ownership of a place through engagement and co-design with local people, help identify and avoid bad design ‘solutions’ before the expense and resources are used on building them (or help find alternative ‘softer’ solutions that would work to generate the same outcome), and thereby create places that people actively will enjoy being as end-users?

We think so!  That’s why at HERE + NOW we base our approach on a combination of engagement, design and curation to enable an iterative people-focussed process that enables the designers and local people to work in partnership together to create great places.

 
UX Design for Placemaking

TAKING DESIGN TO THE STREETS

The HERE + NOW team took to the streets last week to do some face-to-face user research about how people local to Canonmills, Edinburgh, feel about their local area. Check out our video of this process below.

We call this a 'PREP Talk' - a preparation and information gathering event -  asking the people who use and experience a place how they feel about it at present, and what their hopes and aspirations are for the future.  The  'PREP Talk' provided  essential feedback that can then be 'fed forward' to help set the agenda for the follow-up PEP Talk event.  Who knows better what improvements their local places need than the people who live or regularly pass through there?

This is linked to our concept of  'User Experience Design for Place-making'. A focus on user-centred, participatory, iterative and bottom-up approaches to both engage people in place and provide a framework within which local people can meet each other, share their views, and work together to take action to improve their local places.

Following this initial phase of talking to local people about their experiences, we then bring the community, local businesses and other stakeholders together through events, talks and discussions to help kick-start action for improving their local places...  'PEP Talks'. They are about People Engaging in Place, a call to action and a kick-starter for local communities to work together and drive positive change. All whilst having a good time and meeting other interesting people! More on the PEP Talk series soon..

Thanks to Architecture + Design Scotland for their support in developing this process!

 

PEP Talks / PREP Talks from Jenny Humberstone on Vimeo.

HERE + NOW take to the streets to do some face-to-face user research about how people local to Canonmills feel about their local area. We call this a 'PREP Talk' - preparation and research ahead of a PEP Talk event. At a PEP Talk we then bring stakeholders together through discussion and talks to help kick-start action for improving their local places.