On October 9th I went to a workshop in Bristol on Co-Design research projects. Participants from the nine Connected Communities Co-Design Projects funded by the AHRC met to support the process of reflection (in particular) on co-creating research. Many of the participants had already met (see the Edinburgh event I’ve written about, below) but as I hadn’t been to Edinburgh with the other members of the team, it was my first meeting with many of the other participants – and, indeed, their projects.
What an interesting array of projects dealing with co-design and co-creating research! There was an underlying context (and I think an underlying ethical push) that unified many of the points of discussion, but enough differences in material, methodology or outcome to make it all very satisfying to share ideas and experiences.
We were each asked to bring an image that encapsulated our experience of the project to date. I brought this one:
Whilst it is true, I think, that you can never have too many new ways of looking at things, at some point one has to work towards a consensus of opinion, or you can’t move on. Right now we are in the process of trialling our digital sharing platform for the next phase of the project, which will be called Material Consequences. Whereas in Phase 1 we shared items physically via shoeboxes, in this second phase we are going to capture the exchanges involved in co-creation by means of a craft “dating site”, where people can show what inspires them, what skills they have to share, and what skills they might like to learn. In a few more days we’ll be ready to roll this out to people who have said they were interested to take part. And I will let you know how that goes.