Public Research Projects
Tactics for engaging the public in conversations about a place have evolved over the last twenty years, however I still find approaching people in bus stops or standing on the street with a board to be the most effective way to find out what the public think about their place.
I love having conversations with strangers out and about and on the street and making connections across and between what I am hearing in order to find design solutions or work with threads of narrative to create something unexpected- an album of music, for example, or a radio station or unfolding living museum.
Developing tactics, workshops and approaches to understanding lived experience, creating agency or mediating points of view to find consensus have always been a key component of my practice.
I began working in this way by surprise: I made Anecdotal City in 2002 . This project became an oral history archive containing over 1000 entries. Making this project I realised how much I loved talking to people and that having these one to one conversations with many people was a way to understand the nuances and complexities of place, to draw out threads of narrative and build on points of consensus we could perhaps ‘collect around’ and call ‘the truth of a place’ or and agreed truth.
Talking to people foregrounds my practice the majority of works in this project archive. Latterly I have used this process of public consultation to propose a design process that begins with public consultation, then uses the analysis of what I have learned to INFORM projects and starting points. I have used this approach to work collaboratively with designers and architects inform the design of town squares, way-finding, and also inform town centre regeneration.