Re-making places

At the CHI con­fer­ence this year, Clara Criv­el­laro pre­sent­ed this paper on our amaz­ing work at a regen­er­a­tion site on the out­skirts of Lon­don. The work touch­es on many issues that are impor­tant to me, from grass­roots par­tic­i­pa­tion and hous­ing to inven­tive meth­ods and techno­science’s pro­duc­tive possibilities.

HCI, ‘Com­mu­ni­ty Build­ing’ and Change

Clara Criv­el­laro, Alex Tay­lor, Vasilis Vla­chokyr­i­akos, Rob Comber, Bet­ti­na Nis­sen, Peter Wright

We present insights from an extend­ed engage­ment and design inter­ven­tion at an urban regen­er­a­tion site in SE Lon­don. We describe the process of design­ing a walk­ing trail and sys­tem for record­ing and play­ing back place-spe­cif­ic sto­ries for those liv­ing and work­ing on the hous­ing estate, and show how this is set with­in a wider con­text of urban renew­al, social/affordable hous­ing and “com­mu­ni­ty build­ing”. Like pri­or work, the research reveals the fric­tions that arise in par­tic­i­pa­to­ry engage­ments with het­ero­ge­neous actors. Here we illus­trate how mate­r­i­al inter­ven­tions can rearrange exist­ing spa­tial con­fig­u­ra­tions, mak­ing pro­duc­tive the plu­ral­i­ty of accounts intrin­sic in com­mu­ni­ty life. Through this, we pro­vide an ori­en­ta­tion to HCI and design inter­ven­tions that are con­cerned with civic engage­ment and par­tic­i­pa­tion in process­es of mak­ing places.