A Conversation with our Creative Partners at Stand + Stare
Barney: It feels like we’ve been part of every step of the process with Recycle City… that sense of mucking in and you’ve got your role within the team, but it’s very much understanding that collaborative process and the importance of making sure that everybody has a voice within the process… being involved with the workshops and spending more time together I guess has added to that sense….
Lucy: …the co-researchers, there’s no sort of hierarchy or anything….although I suppose in a way with Ruth (co-researcher), with Recycle City, she maybe is more of a leader, I think her vision for that, it is her – totally her.
Barney: …I think more than any project, any kind of collaborative academic project we’ve worked on, the sense of equality I guess between the community partners, co-researchers, and then the rest of it … it feels like that’s noticeably different, there’s always a sort of mixture of voices … I think maybe in the past it might be there’s the academics or the designers that would come up with a concept that then is maybe taken to a group. Whereas with all of the meetings…you get a sense that from the very beginning that the ideas are coming from them rather than from us. As much as we can we’re trying to sort of facilitate them, rather than bringing all of our thoughts and things to it.
Lucy: I feel like most people have been open to our suggestions and experience as well. So I think it’s a bit of give and take.
Barney: It’s kind of yeah understanding where we fit within that structure. I guess it’s like bringing our creativity, but also knowing when not to go in too much. It’s saying these are our thoughts and ideas, let’s all discuss them and let’s make changes and tweaks together.
Lucy: …and it was really nice the last workshop when everyone was so positive you know about the experience that they’d had.
Barney:… (there’s) the co-researchers who you can really see the value that they’ve got from being so involved in the whole process… then there’s the workshop participants who haven’t been so involved in the planning but then have really enjoyed coming to the different sessions. But then I think beyond that there’s the people who are engaging with it say through social media or through things like …fringe events who are dropping in and looking into what’s been generated and what’s been made.
Lucy: Just doing those projects in themselves is really interesting and we’ve met new people through doing them. So yeah, so I feel like there’s loads of really positive impacts …
Barney: In terms of the sort of work that we do, these are like the most fun and interesting because they’re quite playful, it’s like there’s an opportunity to experiment and try things. I guess compared to say some of the things that we’re doing which are say like in a big museum or in a more of a commercial context, there’s maybe less sort of freedom or less room to experiment. And so it’s nice to be involved and feel part of a community.
Lucy: I mean in terms of the design side of it, often when we’ve done academic collaborations or research projects, it’s an opportunity for us to test something out which we can then use some of that technology or some of those ideas can filter through into other things. I would say that Recycled City has been the most in terms of us experimenting and testing new things out. It’s been really interesting bringing in AR stuff and AI image generation … it’s been really nice to explore that in a new context, and I think we will definitely use those things in other places as well.