Social Tapestries
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Community Collaborations
Proboscis Leads: Orlagh Woods & Sarah Thelwall
Team: Alice Angus, Giles Lane
Partners: to be announced
Funding: Proboscis/Arts Council England

Proboscis will explore the types of local community knowledge that people have and would like to share. By working with diverse communities from various geographic areas within London (and eventually elsewhere), Proboscis will explore both the variations in types of knowledge that different communities choose to share and also the impact of being able to see and contrast the contributions of diverse communities within the same geographic area. We hope that this visibility, transparency & access will enrich the total picture as well as bridge the gap of information between communities that do not necessarily connect directly.

This project will consist of a series of small collaborations designed to make public the local knowledge held by individual members of a group. The types of groups that we will work with include schools, housing groups, community centres and youth groups. These collaborations will take place either through ‘bodystorming experiences' and/or workshops devised specifically for each local community or group.

During the initial Urban Tapestries research project, Proboscis conducted a series of bodystorming experiences and trials within the locality of Bloomsbury in central London, working with local people including senior citizens and teenagers through the local community centre. This cross-generational work revealed many hitherto unexpected aspects to the social and cultural uses of knowledge mapping and sharing, particularly as the focus for stimulating 'face to face' meetings between people who otherwise would not expect to have much in common.

This series of small interventions is designed to deepen and widen the scope of our earlier investigations and collaborations by exploring the local knowledge that is held by individuals and groups within specific communities. Through collaborations with groups of different ages and with different reasons for existing (e.g. housing, school, youth groups etc) we aim to initiate discussions that look at the local knowledge made available by other groups in the same geographic area with different interests and/or between groups in different geographic areas but with the same sorts of interests.

This research project intends to:

  • explore the different sorts of local knowledge held by communities with different demographic profiles and areas of interest.
  • stimulate public debate about the types of local knowledge that could be shared via public authoring technologies such as Urban Tapestries.
  • explore the consequences of making local knowledge available and discuss the additional value that is created and conflicts that arise when multiple authors of connected knowledge objects have access to each others local knowledge.

The Urban Tapestries platform and Proboscis' bodystorming experience technique will be used as the primary methods of engagement with each group/community we work with. The deliverables will include:

  • documentation of the bodystorming experiences
  • access via Urban Tapestries to local knowledges gathered from participant communities
  • social research of the methods and results used in the collaborations

Community Collaborations

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