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Sensory Approach for Diversity in Land Engagement - MDes Thesis

Continue Reading Sensory Approach for Diversity in Land Engagement - MDes Thesis

Sensing the City Zine

The Zine was designed to facilitate non-language based communication during the Sensory Mapping Engagements, to make sure that the process is well understood, and participants are aware of their rights and what they are consenting to. The design of the consent and information form became a critical element of the research in this regard.

Continue Reading Sensing the City Zine

Project Process Diagram

Fieldwork - Engagements

The process of Sensory Engagement Design

Sense Layer - Sensory Qualities of Place

Layers of Sensory qualities of place revealed through the analyses of sensory information from the Mapping Walks in Govanhill. Sensory analyses was a creative process that aimed at understanding patterns in sensory information that emerged during the engagements. I structured this information in forms of colour-coded observations and three Sensory Maps - each revealing different layers of sensory information (See on the following maps).

Memory Layer - Intangible Assets

Layers of Memory revealed through the analyses of sensory information from the Mapping Walks in Govanhill. Memory holds the value of intangible and cultural assets that can inform placemaking, allowing for ‘Innovation from Tradition’ (McHattie, 2018).

Imagination Layer - Spatial Imaginaries

Layers of Imagination (Spatial Imaginaries) revealed through the analyses of Sensory Information from the Mapping Walks in Govanhill. These Imaginaries represent place-based knowledge and communicate community visions and preferences for the space to inform spatial representation. In the next phase of the engagement workshops – organised with Milk Cafe in Govanhill - I will bring the above maps back to the same group of participants; for a collaborative sensory analysis. This will form the bases for a Spatial Imagination workshop, where the identified areas of interests – needs and areas of opportunities – and ‘vacancies’ will be merged in a collaborative envisioning of the future of these vacant spaces.

Dynamic patterns of Sensory Information: Sense, Memory and Imagination

Having conducted deep visual and sensory analyses, I came to the understanding that mapping through the senses is a tool that is capable of opening up doors to other types of knowledges. It led me to identify the dynamic patterns between sensory perception, memory and imagination – outlined in the above graph - with their associated placemaking values.

Sensory Engagement Framework

Informed by iterative phases of prototyping, participant engagement, feedback and expert interviews, I developed the Sensory Engagement Framework to provide guidelines for placemakers towards designing accessible and diverse public engagements. I built the design from two main components: The first one focuses on placemaking phases and values (See the Graph above). While the second one, the Access Framework (See the Graph below), compliments the other with the necessary actions and approaches needed to be taken for accessibility.

Access Framework

I designed the Sensory Engagement Framework in a way that it prioritises benefiting participants’ experience over ‘data collection’. Some would regard such an aspect of the approach a ‘weakness’, however I argue in this project’s case, these are overcome by it’s strengths. Such engagements place their emphasis upon understanding local people’s lived experiences and facilitating their access; not only towards public participation, but to often abstract placemaking practices, concepts and methods. Therefore, the Framework’s primary impact lies in its ability to amplify the decisionmaking roles of its participants; empowering those who participate and members of the wider community.