Designing from afar – a practice methodology

This project embraces the idea of ‘designing from afar’ as a contextual condition. As a way of situating your research within the complexity of Braamfontein notwithstanding the impossibility to visit the site, the students at Sheffield have been asked to develop digital participation tools that will allow them to engage with residents and users of the district.

They have been asked to identify a series of digital-space users first (bloggers, writers, instagrammers, tweeters, etc.), and through a co-produced digital participation platform, engage with a broad set of users through social media.
This initial engagement will set the departure point for a further exchange with volunteer students of architecture in South Africa.
The project will develop through a variety of design and research methods, ranging from gathering literature searches, google street view mapping and information visualisation, to the development of design principles & guidelines and the design of small-scale installations.

The final outcome of the work will be a design report illustrating your ‘propositional critique’ to the Urban Development Framework proposed by Local Studio. As part of the brief, the students have asked to consider how the report will communicate with a defined group of stakeholders, for instance the digital community, local government, or public space users.

The output will need to be made public on the studio’s digital participation platform.