Participation Workshop On New Community Planning
Western Australia, 2011
A series of interactive design studios were used to combine the interests, expertise and knowledge of varying stakeholders in a learning exercise. The aim was to provide an active and collaborative educational experience for university planning students highlighting the impact of their field of training beyond the physical organization of land and adherence to policy. Groups were encouraged to work in a more participatory and imaginative way than usual in order to embrace the social and cultural outcomes of planning decisions.
The studios were organized with time-compressed hands-on drawing sessions based on Design Charrette methods. Workshop techniques to aid drawing-based exploration were developed for students as they came to the end of the design stage of a planning project. The sessions facilitated the progression from ideation to convergence resulting in greater comprehension of the wider consequences of their proposals, and for consolidation of the resource material delivered during the semester. As the students were not highly skilled in drawing or design, the Design Charrette sessions were also an opportunity to consider suitable methods of creative engagement with novices and people outside the design professions.
The culmination of the studio exercise was to put all the session drawings together and create a ‘collaborative map’ of experiences, participant visual stories (mapped narratives) and discuss planning issues. As an alternative representation of the traditional wall–mounted (‘crit’ style) structure plan drawings, this mapping stage also revealed the complexity of planning ‘for all’, and hinted at the difficulty of satisfying multiple stakeholders with different agendas in real world situations.