Ongoing research, 2018
THE WINTER OFFICE, Denmark
Consulting is how we build self-reflexive knowledge and create open innovation models and/or sharing platforms through all the projects we engage or make. Moreover, engaged participants are active in our designs only through the empowerment each of them grant us (and each other) in the making of knowledge that could be made available for our productions.
In a very practical sense, our consulting work is about establishing directives and strategies for the production of public relations, programs, pedagogies, events, exhibitions, architecture and the science of space-making in relation to livability. We are actively seeking to understand the behavior of the spaces people use or want to use. For this reason, we believe communities first and this helps us understand the various overlaying and vital aspects of each situation–and which methods are necessary to move forward our creative strategies–whether these involve historical, theoretical, qualitative or quantitative methods. Not only to realize professional and productive information that evaluates, reports and builds active goals, but for the creation of dynamic urban landscapes for the communities we serve.
Citizen participation as methodology
TWO promotes the design and creation of urban spaces by fostering configurations and synergy between organized communities, developers, institutions and local governments. Our methodology for citizen participation refers to how we can initiate an ongoing dialogue with communities in order to impact urban design that can be adapted to the needs, priorities and concerns of the people represented. TWO’s methodology supports the building of dialogues respecting and analyzing the current associative fabric. By asking who gets to participate or how they want to participate, and as well, what community leaders are already there? The answers to these questions are central to this dialogue and to help optimize and adapt participative tools to context – especially by strengthening forms of what we call 'non-electoral participation'. The goal is to help introduce the potential of clear objectives through citizen participation and producing intentional designs (that express the outcomes of this participation) to help produce realizable outcomes for existing social contexts.
Advantages of our participatory methodology
We have developed this method, among others, to facilitate communication and deepen the three parts involved: community / developer / institution (or the organization driving or regulating the development or plan) to help optimize the implementation of projects. We see dialogue and participation as active mediation tools to help prevent the emergence of conflicts between decision-makers and citizens and to help promote horizontal types of decision-making. Moreover this methodology seeks to impact better urban design yields, but also for a better institutional performance of local governments or institutions.
In this sense, the diagram (No. 3/3, on the left) illustrates the relation between electoral and non-electoral participation and what helps strengthen the latter.