Critical Reflection

This project has provided an interesting insight into place identity. It sits in a strange, interdisciplinary space where experience, place-making, and data collection intersect. My critical report gave me a solid foundation on which to build a comprehensive and logical solution which reaffirms the identity of a place.

The final piece in this studio practice acts as a hypothetical and speculative piece which I hope to bring to fruition in the coming months. There are many avenues to pursue in terms of funding and buy-in from local, community stakeholders. To me, that is what makes this project work. It provides a basis for further questioning, experimentation, and development to take place. It asks open questions which, as the reader, you will want to answer. This project represents my ongoing relationship with place identity and how I can get to know it better through ongoing research which is put into practice.

I am proud of the vernacular I have developed to accompany this final project and feel that both ‘collective convergences’ and ‘drop spots’ add something to psychogeography and how place identity can be formed. I have used these words from my critical report to build a narrative through the project which seeks to engage with the public in a meaningful way which affects the perception of a place.

The research undertaken covered a cross-section of design mediums and provided some key learnings which were able to be developed into a cognisant approach to the progression of the project. They were:

Another aspect I am pleased with is the simplicity of the idea. While the critical report shows a deep understanding of the key concepts and ideas, the studio practice transforms those elements into a straightforward and easy to understand proposal. It also goes without saying how personal this project is to me. It comes from my love of Great Yarmouth and my continual ambitions to represent the place to the best of its ability. It also showcases my love for the history and heritage of Great Yarmouth and a desire to bring to the forefront a side that many may miss or overlook.

The feedback from a cross section of society offered some excellent points which I would want to include should the project be developed. They include:

Cater for differing ages and abilities
Develop place appropriate supporting materials i.e. Rock Word of the Year
Future technological developments should be considered (holograms)

In addition to the comments received, I would also like to add some final thoughts as to how the project could be improved and considerations I have taken when producing the final piece:

In response to point 1, I would argue that keeping the ‘noticed things’ to five on one page means that the user is not scrolling through endless pages of questions. They will be informed it is a 1 / 2 page survey which will hopefully improve usage.

As to point 2, I would like to make the results of the survey available online and to produce a summary document each year to highlight how the words used are changing and what it means for the identity of Great Yarmouth.

In conclusion, I feel that Drop Spots provides a simple, sophisticated and well thought through way of retrieving data that will reveal what tourists and residents think about Great Yarmouth. Their collective convergences will provide a vocabulary which can be used by professionals to have consequential conversations with communities to engage them in positive change within the borough.

Going forward, I would like to seek funding from local stakeholders and partners to bring Drop Spots into reality, to monitor the outcomes and to use the data, as it is received, to achieve a better understanding of the identity of Great Yarmouth.

My most significant learning from this final major project is that people all have their own story to tell. It is this story that influences everything from the supermarket they shop at to the place they visit on holiday. It also shapes the way they experience places and what they notice, what they see, hear, and feel. Analysing the common threads of how each person experiences a place gives us a more informed idea of place identity. This in turn gives us an opportunity to talk with communities about why they feel that way about a place and, if needed, provide opportunities for change.

I hope that this project provides a framework for discovering place identity which others across the world can implement so that they too can have meaningful conversations with their communities and #FindTheirPlace.

A single chair reflecting on a water surface on a stormy day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *