This week has seen each project begin to wade through the web of logistics and preparations needed to make the prototypes come alive! We met stakeholders, bought materials, designed posters, made models, invited people to processes, planned events, booked venues, discovered collaborators, tested the limits of health and safety and tested potential outcomes. The team are flying through these preparations to get the prototypes on the streets as soon as possible. Along the way, we have realised the importance of always questioning why we are doing what we are doing – is it answering the ‘Lack of…’ we began with? At this stage, this is crucial to ensure what we prototype addresses the issue and we stay on track. When working at such a speed, it’s easy to lose sight of where we began and why it is important. The team are remembering to step outside the project and look again, more closely, which keeps us all going in the right direction!
We also discovered along the way, the difficulties in getting a prototype off the ground in the City. Each project has encountered many barriers and blockages, from long-term leases to health and safety, to public liability to permissions. These are legitimate concerns, and we have been working within the system to address them. It highlights the differences in thinking between a test project and a more traditional long-term project. There is very little flexibility in the system to enable testing an idea. Imagine what the City could be if it were a hotbed of testing! This is what we are trying in the Market’s Area – if you’re intrigued, keep an eye on the blog for upcoming events as the prototypes hit the streets!