Random reflections about an Architecture of Participation | a proposal by Sara Armento

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I had never though that an online workshop could be so exciting. First at all I found very useful the “tag approach” because it offered a new way to design and to read a project beyond the classical paradigms of form, space, light, etc… Second: the blog is a great tool that allow you to reflect about your point of view and to go deeper into your ideas before to share them with others, as democracy is also the responsibility to say something significant for the others. But the most important thing is that this workshop has been a sort of “SOFT” design experiment: with soft I mean the sensation to feel “light” during the design process, without the obsession typical of the architects to do the greatest square of all the times or to demonstrate something to other people. The important thing in this case has been to stimulate the participants with inputs and to be stimulated in return, to mix ideas and to share them is a very friendly way, and the possibility to propose things even in contrast between them.

The next phase of the selection of the significant inputs will be very critical but at the same time the most interesting one. It’s like natural selection: only good inputs will be developed, but how to choose them is the crucial point. We live in a consumistic society in which peopole are basically consumer and use to choose a product, not to participate to the process behind that product. It’s like with facebook, everything is reduced to “like” or “don’t like” without a reflection about why we like or dislike a thing. That’s why I think the participative process is so important, because even if an input will be excluded, everyone can feel to be part of a collective project.

While I was thinking about a proposal for Stortorget I decided to make a sort of moodboard of my expectations as citizen of Hamar or a tourist, considering three components of a public space: emotional, rational and relational, as you can see in the picture. This is a method typical of the product design but of course it can be applyed to everything. As a moodboard my intention is not to explain every point of it but to leave the interpretation to the reader and to suggest just a “mood” I would like people feel when they are into the square. A “collective mood” can became a base for the selection of the inputs and make the selection process easier.