Today was the final handover and we were delighted at the positive response to the finished tools:
- The commenters – a collection of plastazote discs in 3 colours that interlock and hold an A6 card on both sides for opinions and ideas. Participants can record their responses to a question, attach it to a commenter and connect theirs to anyone else’s to help build a large sculpture representing the total response. Responses can be coded using the 3 colours in any way Helen chooses. Smaller connectors can be added to the sculpture to help change direction, tact or attach further ideas to one area. Together with the card, pens, pencils and crayons, the commenters are stored and presented in a black, heavy-duty tool bag ready for participants to use directly both outdoors and indoors.
- The zoners – a collection of eight 4ft foamalux 3D map pins and compass point symbols which attach to an iroko stake and fence post spike to drive into the ground. Among other ideas, these become markers or way finders or part of a trail, corresponding to particular questions or locations on a map. For the latter, a series of corresponding symbols have also been created for Helen to use on printed documents at events. These 2 shapes have been created in 5 colours for variety and coding responses in any way Helen chooses.
The need for the tools to be non-prescriptive in order to support Helen’s creative approach to consultation, as well as help to draw in larger audiences, was an important factor in the process. We can’t wait to see how Helen uses them to engage with the public in different contexts and events. We are also excited to see how these tools lay the foundation for the next phase of work in Spring 2014 and look forward to taking the lessons learned in this phase to the next.
Hayley Alter & Sarah Pickard