engagement

#BloomingBricks at Porty Art Walk

As part of Porty Art Walk 2016 we were happy to invite participants to create their own #BloomingBricks - little bundles of seeds, soil and recycled paper bringing the nooks and crannies of Portobello (and beyond) to life with wildflowers across the city!  

Already part of the Porty Art Walk in 2015 with Stop+Sea, HERE+NOW were thrilled to be invited again to contribute to the Porty Art Walk curated programme of art works and installations across Portobello on Saturday 3 Sept 2016. 

With our stall on the Promenade and only a stone’s throw from Portobello’s historical kilns, the last two surviving pottery kilns in Scotland, we wanted to create a visual reference between our project and an interesting chapter of Portobello’s local history which provides an interesting and important local landmark.

With buckets of soil and clay, plenty of wildflower seeds, a briquette press and lots of energy, we were up and running at 12noon, ready to involve as many participants of all ages as possible. We were pleased by the enthusiasm and interest showed throughout the afternoon by everyone involved and were able to make over 70 Blooming Bricks to be scattered around Portobello, but also going as far as Fife and Glasgow.

We were overwhelmed by all the support and positive feedback received during the day and would like to thank all participants for taking part to Blooming Bricks. We would also like to thank Porty Art Walk for making this project possible, and Grow Wild Scotland and Kabloom for the seeds. 

We think Blooming Bricks was a great success and hope to see plenty of wildflowers popping up all over Portobello during the next Spring.

Did you take part to event and made your own brick? We would love to see their new homes and little seedlings popping up! Take a look at #BloomingBricks for updates and share your images, we would love to hear from you!

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.

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.

 

PREP TALKS..

Happy Friday !

We have had a very productive week at Here + Now as we have been out and about speaking to people in various places around Edinburgh. We are developing a very exciting project called PEP Talks (People Engaging in Place). The concept of the PEP Talks project is to ignite an interest in a certain location around the city and invite speakers and contributors to an evening (or day) of discussion and inspiration. We are in the process of developing the project for wider release,  and have been collecting material as a first stage - a PREP Talk for the .. PEP Talks… get it?! 

We have been out in the cold chatting to passing people and  are now in the process of developing a short film featuring the people we talked to. It’s been inspiring and interesting to really engage with the public and the environment around us. By engaging in a simple conversation we have gained a huge amount of insight into some spaces around Edinburgh. It definitely demonstrates that we can learn the most about a place from the people that use it.  Watch this space for our PREP Talk film .. More to come soon…!!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Year is the perfect pivot-point for reflection, thinking about what we do, but also for thinking forward to what we are going to be doing… a time for fresh starts!

And it’s a new beginning for the three of us at HERE + NOW as we consolidate a range of activities and work into one big super-charged agency for change. We’re ready to design, engage and curate with a renewed focus on people and place, and to pilot our ideas in UX for landscape architecture. But more on that later.

Putting people at the heart of the design of places is critical – would you ever design for a place without ‘consulting’ the site? Typically designers will survey and analyse in detail a site’s conditions to understand its characteristics, traits, systems, flows… so why wouldn’t we do the same to understand the needs, characteristics, potentials, resource, and dynamics of the people relating to a place? We’re interested in new methods for how we engage people in mainstream design processes, and hope to initiate and demonstrate an approach relevant for anyone working in the design and delivery of place-making.

At HERE + NOW we have strong principles rooted in the importance of understanding the ‘people’ layer of a place; it’s what makes for really meaningful design.

So this New Year, why not join us in exploring techniques in UX for landscape architecture, and follow us as we look to how engagement can become part of a fuller and more 'real' design process!

 

  • UI: the user interface, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. You might call this, the 'digital landscape'.
  • UX Design: or 'User Experience Design';  is the process of researching, testing, and iterative design processes that enable you to create that digital landscape in a way that makes it accessible, enjoyable and easy to navigate.  This gives the user the best experience possible. 
  • What if we could learn from the relatively new fields of digital UX Design and translate some of the lessons learned and iterative user-centred methods from the digitally designed landscape to the physical designed landscape and places?