Connecting the diverse urban community around the planned new Condorcet Campus
In 2016, the Campus de Condorcet, the largest university centre for the Humanities in Europe, will open its doors for students and researchers in Saint-Denis La Plaine. The aim of the 2012 European Design Challenge was to connect the highly diverse urban community around the planned new Condorcet Campus on a digital and physical level in order to promote “civicism”, citizen participation, civic and cultural awareness, shared responsibility, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
Specific issues for the Challenge in this area included:
Integration of local creative industries into the community as an inspirational, regenerative and unifying factorCitizen participation in community and creative development – “civicism”, shared identity, responsibility, ownership and entrepreneurshipCross-cultural information and creativity exchange on the basis of a shared and open physical and virtual platformOptimum integration of innovative transport resources
1. Emotion Mapping Participants were asked to make an emotion map containing all observations regarding emotions experienced while walking through the area. These observations were of a subjective nature, sensorial impressions like smell, sound, feelings of discomfort, happiness, etc. They first had to make their own, personal emotion map before the whole team had to get together to fuse all these separate maps into one, sharing an emotion map of the experience.
Participants then repeated the exercise, on a team basis, but this time they focused on reconstructing the architectural topology of the area from memory. This exercise reveals the physical points which the participants experienced as “key landmarks” in the area.
2. Memory Mapping Participants then repeated the exercise, on a team basis, but this time they focused on reconstructing the architectural topology of the area from memory. This exercise reveals the physical points which the participants experienced as “key landmarks” in the area.
3. Value Ladder The participants were asked to define a set of five values that are important to him/her as a human being and as a designer, particularly in relation to the area which he/she is about to redesign. Starting with each participant having 5 core values, discussion then starts until all individual values are “filtered down” to only five values that are understood and accepted by the whole group. These values will be revisited by the teams throughout the challenge. They serve as a touch stone for their designs and they will have to be reflected in the final designs.
Among others, the following values were defined Sensory (University of the Arts London).
Brainstorming and paper prototyping
The teams started the second day with an Appreciative Inquiry, an exercise made famous by David Cooperider. In this exercise, the teams explore and narrate experiences, places or events which have inspired them most and which can be applied to their present design task.
After the appreciative inquiry, the teams continued the concept creation, design and build process of their prototype models and presentations. Discussion and feedback is essential for the iterative development procession, and the Challenge organisers were expertly supported by Fiona van de Geijn, FabLab specialist, and Nancy Ottaviano, architect and Phd researcher, in the creative process.
At the end of the second day, the Challenge participants reluctantly left the CentQuatre at 10pm; most would have preferred to work through the night in the ateliers. In the event, many of the teams continued working through the night in the hotel or at home.
Rapid prototyping On the morning of the third and last day all teams worked hard to finish their prototypes and presentations. At 14:00, the jury visited all the teams to get to know their projects in greater depth. At 16:00, the final presentation and award event began in Salle 200.