Week 09 « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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Week 9 – Working towards Innovation Dublin

Friday, November 12th, 2010

When the Scheduled Conversations wrapped up, reflections gathered and feedback received, the team’s focus turned towards the next great challenge – Innovation Dublin! Ambitious plans have been laid and we are now working towards a magnetic and intriguing outcome; ‘100 exciting things you didn’t know about the City Centre’. We will be creating a cardboard wonderland for the exhibition and unveiling pictures of the people we talked to in street conversations.

Our studio is buzzing with activity! The team are busy sifting through thousands of street conversations, pulling out the exciting things in the City that the people of Dublin shared with us. With common themes emerging, the list of exciting things is growing and growing. To convey the importance of each exciting thing, stories of who told us this, why it’s important and relevant to them and why it’s important to the City are being added to give it greater relevance and vibrancy. These exciting things and their stories are the core of the exhibition ‘100 exciting things you did not know about the City Centre’. As they are coming together, we are beginning to see the amazing diversity of things we had collected. It’s unusual, it’s gritty and it’s honest.

Meanwhile, we have invited a number of talented young design graduates and students to bring their knowledge and expertise to particular aspects of the exhibition. For our cardboard wonderland we must have cardboard furniture! Four wonderful recent Architecture graduates have been tasked with creating these pieces. Naming themselves the ‘Cardboard Collective’, over four days they are working furiously at designing and building a number of pieces of cardboard furniture using strictly only cardboard and their ingenious design solutions. A cardboard chandelier is being rumoured, so call down to FIlmbase to see how they get along!

Photographing the 100 exciting things is the next challenge. Over the weekend, we will be pulling in a number of talented young photographers, from the professional to the fashion blogger to the talented hobbyist. They each have one day, a series of sites, places or moments to photograph, and armed with their camera’s they will undertake a journey around the City to capture the essence of each ‘exciting thing’. We can’t wait to see the images they will produce!

The mammoth size of the task is revealing itself as we near the opening day but all of the elements of the exhibition are coming together. Make sure to call down to Filmbase on Wednesday and Thursday next week, from 10am to 7pm to see the ‘100 exciting things you didn’t know about the City Centre’!

Week 9 – Scheduled conversations

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Tuesday and Wednesday were exciting days for the team as they ran their Scheduled Conversation processes. These days were filled with experiences, perspectives and insights! The Scheduled Conversations brought together key stakeholders around a certain theme, and engaged them in conversation to draw out key City Centre insights and challenges for the project, as it moves forward. The four scheduled conversation were:

1. These are the people who exchange their products in the City – Lead by Mary and Ciarán, this process brought together entrepreneurs, business leaders, innovators, charities and politicians to discuss the difficulties in exchanging products of all types in the City. See Mary and Ciarán’s blog for further information.

2. These are the people who move us through the City – Lead by Linnea and John, this process featured planners, transport authorities, architects, signage designers, waterways and cycling promoters, advocates of disabled users, entrepreneurs and Dublin City Council cycling and traffic officers. The discussions brought to light underused resources in the City, the hierarchy of road users in the City and the reality of movement in Dublin. See Linnea and John’s blog for further information.

3. These are the people who live in the City Centre – Lead my Micheál and Una, this process focused on discussing issues people encounter in living in Dublin City, with insights from residents of the City, Dublin City Council community officers, politicians, community workers, and the marketing director of Dublin Docklands. See Micheál and Una’s blog for further information.

4. These are the people who start up new things in the City – Lead by Vincent and Nuala, this brought the focus on design, entrepreneurship and barriers to start-up new things in the City. Attended by artists who are making use of empty retail spaces, the founder of the Soul Festival in Dublin, curators, the CEO of the Digital Hub and a development executive from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the afternoon was both informative and collaborative. See Vincent and Nuala’s blog for further information.