Week 12 « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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What part of Dublin needs more love?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The next stage of our project involves choosing an area in the City where we can go to work, trying to make that area better in interesting and creative ways. This is where we need your help! The favour we’re asking is if you could send us your thoughts on “What area in Dublin City Centre do you think needs more love and why?”. The answers, in conjunction with our other public interactions, will help us make an informed decision as to the area people think is in need of some love and affection.

We’d really appreciate your help with this! Please email info@designingdublin.com

Week 12 – An inspiring visit from Ré Dubhthaigh

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

As the team moves towards defining a working area in Dublin City, we asked Ré Dubhthaigh to join us and share his wealth of experience, both in working with people, making sense of the complex issues faced by the City and delivering practical solutions. With a background in graphic design and interaction design, he began Radarstation as a commercially focused design innovation company, working with multinationals such as Sony, as well as many SME’s and Universities.

In recent years, his focus has shifted towards reform within the public sector. Ré shared a number of collaborative projects, such as supporting families in chronic crises, with Participle and Swindon City Council and understanding the lives of vulnerable children and young people, with Buckinghamshire County Council, as well as work with the British Design Council. Ré discussed his experiences on these projects, personal learning’s and shared sage advice with the team members. He described the value of design as a vehicle for making things tangible, emphasizing the importance of listening, facilitating purposeful conversations, challenging your assumptions and most importantly being human. Ré’s philosophy is – by effecting change for the individual, you will effect change for the system.

Week 12 – Steering Group presentation

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

We presented an update on the project to our wonderful Steering Group today. It had been six weeks since we last met with them so there was huge amounts of work to share – our Street and Scheduled Conversations, exhibition, Love the City – Out Loud volunteer group, and the work on mapping to date. The work received a wonderful reception, with great regard for the quantity and quality of work the team had produced in the last six weeks. There was also a real sense of the importance and value of this way of working, especially given the hard times which Dublin and Ireland is facing. A number of Albert Einstein quotes got to the essence of a discussion on where we were as a nation and why this project needs to happen – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” and “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. This validation is reflective of both the amount of work the team produced, the quality of presentation by team members, and the projects validity, meeting and exceeding expectations, and finally the belief that we are one of the agents of greater change that has to happen in the City.

Week 12 – Mapping begins!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

With the exhibition of 100 exciting things you didn’t know about the City Centre under our belts, the team are now turning their sights to the next phase – improve the destination experience. As a first step, we will define the specific area within the City Centre (our area will be somewhere between the canals, Docklands and Heuston Station) where we will be working to develop 10 ideas, 10 designs and 10 prototypes, with and for the people of this area. The mapping tool developed during the Discovery Phase (which you can find in Stage 8 – Mapping City, in the Love the City book) will help us to define our area. The tool is based on the concept that by mapping the many assets (positive elements of the city, such as parks) and deficiencies (negative elements of the City, such as crime) using a GIS system and asking the right types of questions, we will be able to highlight an area where we can effect the most change. We’ll use the challenges found during the Scheduled and Street Conversations and Test Processes to begin this project stage.

To help us get to grips with mapping and geographical information systems (GIS), we were lucky enough to be joined by Ireland’s top GIS expert, Adrienne Eacrett, on Wednesday morning. Adrienne brought to light the potential of GIS to link information with points, lines and areas on a map. All of this information can subsequently be queried and manipulated to provide insights, such as comparing graffiti and security cameras or illustrating the gradient of public bin usage in the City. This mapping tool, her knowledge and the flexibility of GIS to analyse, crosscheck and present information will be invaluable as we turn the challenges we heard into map-able layers in order to find our project area.