At every project location we follow the same basic steps. Each step is tailored to the specific place creating a unique project cycle as we go along. The cycle can take several weeks or many months. The development of large public places is spread out over multiple projects.
The first step of broad community involvement focusses on collecting many opinions and ideas.
Strenghts, weaknesses, threats and oppurtunities. How are they perceived and prioritised?
Everyone is stimulated to think of possibilities. Anyone can come up with smart solutions and improvements.
Specific budget limits and time frames create focus. From immediate cheap small scale change to grand dreams for the far future and everything in between.
We identify those who want to take responsibility.
The local government is informed and involved during the process. Before implementation all necessary official approvals are checked.
We look for (future) public places with great importance and high potential. We study and discuss the available possibilities extensively. Finally, we choose.
Fully integrating the input by the community, we work on several design proposals. During this step we conciously choose for ‘professional isolation’. The community is certainly the local expert, but still not a designer.
We design more than can be realised, we always offer options.
This is the real work and the most fun! As much work as possible is done by volunteers. Where necessary, professionals bring in special skills. All-round involvement continues in the many challenges and decisions that arise during the process.
Before we continue we dive deeper into the ‘soul and identity’ of the place. Besides the physical properties of the location we analyse the flow and rhythm in and through the area. We look for specific patterns and try to grasp what makes up its atmosphere.
We present our design proposals to all involved. Actual designs and on-the-spot visualisations open up great oppurtunities for further discussion. Designs can be modified. Eventually, the community chooses between possibilities and/or design options.
Public places are never finished. We guide those taking responsibility to keep the place in good shape or make it even better.
Actual use of the place offers the most valuable information available. These insights shape future projects there and elsewhere.