Placemaking activity – Imaginarium
By Andy Choi, Bonnie Gordon, Meg Varley, Aleksandra Nikitina, Kevin Sutanto.
The premise of this engagement activity was to design for community with community. By handing over the designer’s pen, the community was invited to draw what they wanted to see in their park utilising a see through easel.
Through applying the concept of community design, the Imaginarium emerged through a persepcts panel as a canvas for the community to imagine and visualise. Participants were provided equipment to draw with and the activity facilitator utilised a form to collect data on participants age, whether they were locals or not, other notes and what the participants drew (e.g. trees, playground, shade, music shell & café). Conversations with community members were annotated whilst they were drawing. A total of 16 people participated.
What worked about this activity?
Having the Imaginarium prompted participants to imagine how they would like to use the park in a more tangible manner and feedback was very positive. Further to this point, the students felt they could trigger conversations based on what was being drawn, allowing for a positive, open ended conversation. It was the conversations that allowed for deep facilitation and engagement, giving voice to the community in a creative manner. The student’s felt “the process allowed the participant to be in control of the kind of information that they would like to divulge. It subsequently resulted in more open-ended feedback”.
What students learned from this place?
- Natural elements were a theme in the drawings such as planting, trees, nature play, water and biodiversity.
- Comfort such as shade, seating were repeatedly mentioned.
- Play, child centred such as a playground.
- Amenity for activity.