Description of Method:
A more formal version of the Games method where people are invited to contribute their ideas for the future of their place. In design competitions ideas can be written, drawn or modelled to suit the criteria of the competition. Contributions can range from the pragmatic to the wildly fantastical. The contributions can form an engaging display in the Urban Room. Winners can be chosen in a variety of ways, e.g. voting by the participants, a panel of ‘experts’, or a public vote. Other forms of competition could involve people submitting their own creative outputs or stories inspired by their place. Winners can have pride of place in the display and maybe awarded a small prize donated by a local business perhaps, and/or a certificate.
Purpose of Method:
This can be an engaging method to draw out multiple insights and ideas about a specific building or the local area more generally. It is also an effective way of showcasing the creativity and imagination of local people and creating engaging displays within the Urban Room.
Design competitions in particular are great for school groups to engage in the built environment if facilitated in collaboration with teaching staff. The competition can be launched with presentations and site visits by local experts and followed by a group or individual activity in the Urban Room.
Build a New Doncaster
In the ‘Build a New Doncaster’ project Live Works worked with Doncaster Civic Trust on a design competition for schools - here the children are drawing their ideas for the future of their town centre.