The Civic Forges: Weaving Neighbourhoods project investigates new methods in order to move towards societal transformation. The project aims to realise “platforms” in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Umeå (Sweden) and eventually other European cities that dynamically engage citizens in creating self- empowered and sustainable communities. Because true sustainability and wellbeing cannot be created on an individual level only, it requires behavioural change on a societal level too, where the collective is more important than the individual. If we want different people to work together on local solutions for local issues that stem from greater global issues, we believe it is necessary to involve citizens, and trust and empower them through their skills in shaping the future of their own city. Since the city of Eindhoven shares this dream of self- empowerment and sustainability, they co-funded this two-year project.
The golden diamond of local governance, businesses, universities and especially citizens, is the basis of a community and the essential foundation from which society is able to transform. In this Civic Forges project we explored and developed communal gatherings and platforms that precisely engage these stakeholders. By using the different partners of the golden diamond as catalysers of innovation, the project strives to create self- empowered and sustainable communities, which are essential to create opportunities to face our modern-day challenges.
Video about the DiffractMe! installation; an installation which has been developed as a kind of Experiential Design Landscape (EDL).
The first part of this project started with a four-week workshop, in which three designers were involved utilising the Designing in Skills (DiS) approach. Within this workshop the traits and richness of the interaction qualities that would actively be materialised in the final product were observed.
Three designers reflected on their skills and created Enabling Tools to reflect them. The Enabling Tools allow the salient experiential qualities to be extracted from their context and meaning in the original skill. This makes it possible to investigate the qualities alone, through making. From the Enabling Tools three main themes of experiential qualities emerged: Friction, Guidance and Resonance.
The experiential qualities were finally materialized in the DiffractMe! installation. From April to Juni 2014, the prototype of the DiffractMe! installation was placed in the City Hall of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
More videos related to this project are to be found here: https://vimeo.com/channels/cfwn
A publication about the DiffractMe! installation can be downloaded here: dqi.id.tue.nl/keer2014/papers/KEER2014_149