Interaction Design Workshop 2010 Interaction Design Workshop 2010

Reflections

Split was the context for design explorations around the theme of urban ecology, main focus being human and nonhuman becomings. Through short workshops, presentations, field trips and prototyping exercises, participants addressed the co-fabrication, the (ongoing) doing of urban ecologies; making things matter, and trying to give voice to things that were not noticeable or deserved, for whatever reason, special attention.

The initial brief of the workshop called to explore the invisible cities of Split, to slip suggestively between the real and imagined to tell the tales that make up the city in an exploration that led from the beautiful to the violent, from minor urban disasters to necessary catastrophes. The violent potential of design was to be used to build these narratives and create public interventions in the city.

The workshop was challenging and stimulating in several ways. A new group of people meeting for the first time - both students and workshops leaders had not met before - a diversity of backgrounds and interests, as well as the challenge and the motivation itself of experiencing and exploring the city of Split through design.

 

Using design as a medium to ask questions rather than provide answers was a very different approach for most of the students, as became clear instantly. Another shift to be made was the emphasis on experimenting and developing the project through the language of design. Rather abstract themes were to be explored and discovered trough making things, not by thinking or talking or making assumptions about 'the people'. Reality often is far more messy and complicated than we'd like to think of it.

Getting used to this different mindset, the participants quickly started creating experiments and interventions in the city. They proved and proposed alternative scenarios that lead to final proposals, which reflected a diversity of modes of engagement and sensibilities to capture the attention of visitors and citizens. The many iterations and reflections helped both the group and the projects grow richer, closer, stronger, warmer and more poetic. The diversity of the results stimulated the discussion about the development of design and its scales of interaction.

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Umas DVK