Co-creating the definition of a Creative Citizen using our interactive wall: By Natasha Trotman

November 3rd, 2014 by Dan Lockton in Conference | no comments

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By Natasha Trotman

The Interactive wall was created as an installation for the Creative Citizens project and featured at the Creative Citizens Conference (at the Royal College of Art) during September. It was created with the purpose of helping visitors explore the value of Creative Citizens within their everyday lives and contribute to the debate. Situated within the News Café Zone it was primarily introduced to facilitate a discussion on definitions of creative citizenship by enabling visitors to ‘co-create’ their definition of a creative citizen by adding to the wall within the space, there was also an option to contribute digitally by using the hashtag #creativecitizens. A video calling all visitors at the conference to action, by adding their voices to the debate was also uploaded to the website, which had a great impact on the number of contributions.

The question presented within the space attracted varied responses from representatives and communities, who added their voices to this debate and as such became the catalysts for the emerging conversations surrounding the topic and its broader issues.

Some contributors thought:

Vince:  ‘Being a creative citizen is about being an actor’

Francesco: ‘It’s about musicality’

Tyler: ‘It’s about interacting with others’

Sam: ‘Its about using and sharing all that comes from the head, hands and heart’

Michael: ‘It’s about being a doer’

Chris: ‘It’s about being open and willing to incorporate great ideas for a collectively great outcome’.

The contributors were at the core of the concept for the interactive wall, with the intention to enable visitors to play a role in shaping the discussion, by responding to a selection of key words, which were based on reflections provided by those who had previously taken part in the earlier stages of the project.

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Once some key words had responses and thoughts, other visitors began responding to former comments and as they became more involved, ‘remixing’ the other participants contributions and sentences, the area around the interactive wall and News Café became effervescent and vibrant. Some chose to add to the debate by stacking key words and building alternative meanings and scenario’s, while others opted to create a thread where comments were added and responded to, these varied approaches aided the creation of an organic dialogue that was very exciting to witness.

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Many issues were discussed and some official terms were researched and fed back to the visitors in real time, this sufficiently addressed the needs and curiosity of those taking part. Some participants became so enthused they decided to have a seat at the News Café and discuss the questions further (after adding to the wall).

The evolving definitions were descriptive, challenging and refreshing, pulling in various communities, practitioners and educators to explore and unpack a question that blurs lines and builds bridges of understanding, thus developing new conversations and quite possibly, projects due to the overlapping interests at the heart of the work of all who were present.

The research that has come from the engagement of participants at the Creative Citizens Conference via the interactive wall has resulted in a rich and varied collection of voices, thoughts, questions, responses and new connections which will hopefully continue to develop further in the months and years to come.

Natasha Trotman is an Information experience designer and a student at the Royal College of Art. She works with individuals and organisations using multi-modal approaches to creative action, engagement, embodiment and data. @trottykins

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