My video prototype project portraying the essence of the Markets Area
Have a watch here:
My video prototype project portraying the essence of the Markets Area
Have a watch here:
So now we have ALL this information, we gotta digest it all so as to understand what people are saying and see if we can address the issues people are bringing up as challenges for them in the area.
Again with the pinning up on boards, all our photos of the people we talked to, questions asked and answers got, up they went.
We then presented these findings to the group, who also did their own similar work, and out of this we have made a definitive list of challenges, which can be nicely called “Lack ofs….”
So back out onto the streets we went, engaging with the users of the markets area in the pursuit of a further understanding of the area.
Myself and John headed out, with a card board table under our arm and a sign asking people
“Can you help us design a better markets area?”
We positioned ourselves in a few different places over two days, and got a huge level of interest and amount information from the people we talked to, at times we had a queue of people waiting to talk to us!
Our aim was to engage people in a conversation about the area, to find out how it is they find and use the area. This was so that we could find out more , understand the challenges people have, and what their needs are in the are, and then also to get out any ideas they have for the Markets area.
These people came from a range of backgrounds and were there for all sorts of reasons. From trading and retail, to just-passing-through and don’t actually stop for anything within the markets area.
We also had a map of the area where we could plot their common routes through the area, and they could point out where their favourite spots were.
We got SOOOOOO much information, and from this we have started distilling everything and pulling out challenges and information.
The trick to our work is to get it all up on boards around the room so that you can look at it all and then see the next move to pull out challenges and ideas.
So now we are focusing in on our area, the markets area of Dublin City. We have broken it down into manageable themes so that we can get a true and full insight into this area we’ll be working in for the next 5 weeks.
Our broken down themes are:
People – Movement – History – Community Work – Plans – Regulations – Study of the built environment – Enterprise/retail – Work/Live/Play/Nature – Informal use of built environment
I took the theme of movement in the area. I’ll try and explain and explore this theme here. Have a look at my other team members to read about their theme and exploration.
Vehicles – Commercial / private
What I’d like to get an understanding of in the area is:
The natural lines of movement through the area
How people get to the area
The timetable of events in the area
What are the transport links to the area?
Where do people come from who arrive in the area?
From where and to where are people walking?
What links are there to the other markets in the area?
I want to explore the area under the concepts of
I’m passing through the area
I live here
I’ve gotta pick up something
I’m earning a living here
I’ve come to have fun
So I went for a walk about our area of focus, the fruit & veg markets area.
We haven’t really decided the borders of our area, but roughly it is between North King St-The Liffey & Church St-Capel St. As I wander, depending on what I think about, outside this small area is also important.
I made the map above as I walked about as I tried to get an idea of the people and activities in the area.
Blue is where people live
Red is public retail activity
Orange is community activities (schools, churches, Gardí)
As a group we all went out and did this process, exploring and talking to people, always to get a feel of what is happening and noting potential challenges and links we could involve ourselves with.
We took lots of photos and tried to build up an understanding of the area, which we then presented to each other the next day.
The board I added to is below.
We then went back to our boards that had our ideas post-its on them from the first few weeks of the project and chose 10 that might work in this area.
We also listed some ideas that would incorporate technology into helping us prototype some ideas. This was kindly helped by Ronnie Tino our technology usage expert from Sweden.
My Technology Ideas
Social media tool
Linking area amenities together – “People who liked here, also went here…”
Story telling through video diaries by locals
24hr sound scope
Recording sounds on the street, chitchat, old sounds gone
Bluetooth messaging in area
Stories & history of spot where transmitter is
Move transmitter every few days
Using NearFM to transmit radio signal, dancers have personal radio
Forklift truck relay trials
So all this time we have been gathering insights, challenges and ideas from our own wee brains and the people we meet along the way (scheduled/street conversations etc).
We then have been trying to pick an area where we can test out and play (prototype) some of these ideas and attempt to address the challenges that people have mentioned.
Through some fun and crazy mapping techniques and talking with the Steering Committee (big wigs in Dublin City Council) we have settled on the area between Capel St – Church St/Smithfield and North Kings St – The Liffey.
THE MARKETS AREA
And so for the past week we have been exploring our new world, to see what there is going on already and noting potential opportunities for us to get a bit designie and creative with what is there.
We only have about 5 weeks to do all this prototyping with the aim to test out new and clever ways to use an area for Living, Movement and Enterprise in your life. We will then document these, obviously having consulted with our areas population before and after, and then present these methods and tools to Dublin City Council to use in their everyday work.
That’s the plan anyway!
Lets see what happens!!!!
Here’s an example of who knew what you might find while wandering about the markets area. A man with a fuel pipe coming out a door, refueling his forklift. Now in fairness it makes total sense, cause you don’t see them driving down the road to the petrol station, but I never thought about it before! Who has the monopoly on the fuel prices?!
Thanks to the City manager John Tierney, we discovered the book Redrawing Dublin by Paul Kearns (senior planner in Dublin City Council) and Motti Ruimy (Dublin based architect).
We are in the middle of discovering and deciding a prototype area to work within in the city centre, and excitedly I picked up this book to see what insights the authors might have gained, that could then also assist us in our pursuit of honing in on an area for us to play and experience with for the next 3 months.
I found the book on the surface level to be a great exploration of Dublin, from toying with the ideas of psychological barriers we construct about certain areas of the city for example the liffey for northside and southside, or past Smithfield heading out of town as the “edge of the city centre”, to thinking about our route through the city.
They look at mapping the city, they talk to (a few) people of Dublin, workers and users. They look at building usage and potentials.
One of the great bits of work they have done is using simple mock photos, showing how certain places could look if some changes were made to derelict sites for the likes of Church St, Bridgefoot St and the Digital Hub.
The difficulties for us with this book is that a lot of the data isn’t referenced, which also brings us to wonder where and on what are their ideas and statements based on.
They throw in a lot of terms, some of their own too I think, Street DNA, Adopted Dubliners, Metroland, Gentrivilification, Exurbs and Spar trekking.
This all adds to a lot of randomness in the book, but it is a great new way of presenting an exploration of our City, much like we are trying to do ourselves.
We presented to the “Steering Group” last week. They are kind of our parents, the big chiefs in the DCC along with Jean Byrne and Jim Dunne from Design21c. We explained everything that we have been at over the last 2 months to them. Twas fun, if maybe a little scary!
From talking to people on the street; our City exhibition in Film Base, Temple bar on the 100 Exciting Things You Didn’t Know In The City exhibition; our scheduled conversations with stakeholders in the city and the start of our current mapping process, they seemed highly interested in all our work that we have done, especially with our new ways of talking and engaging with the public and stakeholders in the city.
It was a great experience telling all that we have been working at to this level of management in Dublin City Council. Slightly scary when I was the one who was leading the presentation and handling questions and feedback, but they were so interested and engaged that I feel it has given us great closure on the first part of our project before Christmas.
Take in: There’s a last chance to learn a little more about the capital city this weekend, as the Designing Dublin exhibition draws to a close in Filmbase, Temple Bar. It is made of images and a selection of fascinating nuggets of fact about the city. I don’t care how long you’ve lived here, how much Guinness you’ve drunk in Grogan’s or how much of a true blue Dub you reckon you are – there is no way you’d know all the stuff that’s contained in this room. A delightful way to spend an afternoon.
Irish Architecture Foundation
Looking for Love – Revealing One Million Urban Offerings‘ is an event created by Designing Dublin. As part of Innovation Dublin, the aim is to share, show, flash and amaze with everything that makes Dublin an exciting city to be living in.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of Dublin and unfolding a beta physical space where you can experience a city centre that is full of stories and grit, people with projects, ideas, ambitions, deals and offerings. See, experience and add to Dublin’s one million urban offerings.
lecool – weekly city guide
In trying to fill the gaps in our processes of other groups of people we may have missed during our other two street conversation processes we headed for Capel St and Parnell St to hopefully talk to a few of the foreign nationals who run those shops.
The plan of the process was just to walk into the shops and businesses and ask if we could talk to a staff member for a few minutes. Obvious limitations we expected were that people might be busy with customers and that there might be a language barrier.
It actually went very well, although we only talked to a few people. We found it hard to motivate ourselves to go into shops and take people from their work to talk to us. Future plan would be to setup a public space to hold a process to talk to foreigners in the area.
We found that the people we talked to had a totally different view of the city then we found before, due to their religious and cultural needs and interests and so we feel we definitely need to tap into this information.
In the above photo Mia-Manan Hameed of the Madina Group gave us some great insights into Sufi culture in Dublin and told us about their mosque on Talbot St.