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IntroductionHistoryUrbanLab SlotervaartTwo-step processProvisional designFollow-upResultCredits

Two-step process

Face Your World involved two parallel processes, namely education and design. A key role was set aside for the students of the Calvijn met Junior College and the Professor Einstein Elementary School within the assignment to devise a park design. In order for them to be able to help with drawing up the design they first had to learn what exactly design entails. It was necessary for them to develop spatial insight and acquire a sense of dimension and scale. They had to understand how things can be made and what techniques one can use for this. They had to learn how to present their ideas to each other and to third parties. In one of the first lessons, for example, the facilitators compiled a list of the most important aspects of the design process together with the students. This divided the process into four phases: exploration, sketching designs, consultation and construction. This proved to be a highly effective exercise in both instances. Not only did it make it obvious what skills were learned during the first week (looking, describing, surveying and drawing) but it also became evident that the students were perfectly capable of drawing up this list themselves. In particular, the importance of the consultation process was underscored by the students themselves.

There was collaboration with a number of different groups throughout the design process. Besides the groups involved in the education process, namely the students from the Calvijn met Junior College and the Professor Einstein Elementary School, many children attended the ‘open house afternoons’. Over time, a group took shape and met weekly, and also made a significant contribution within the process. There were also regular meetings with diverse groups of local residents, with whom discussions were organised in groups of 10 to 15 people. The different groups such as the girls group, the Moroccan mothers and the very first residents were given the opportunity to describe how they imagined the future park in considerable detail. These wishes were translated into a design by the students, which was discussed once again by the different target groups. This approach resulted in non-stop interaction about the design.

There were two important moments for the public. During the first open day on 19 May 2005, an initial inventory of wishes and aspirations was presented in the form of three scenarios. Each scenario consisted of a collection of wishes and concepts that had surfaced repeatedly in the discussions during the initial months. These were subsequently grouped around a specific theme, namely activity, encounter and safety. The provisional design was presented on 6 July 2005.