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Home / Resources / News / Come to your senses

Come to your senses

How do we experience a space like a market? The market is part of our everyday reality, but how often do we reflect on what we think, feel, do, say, see, hear, eat, drink or buy here? What does this space really mean to us?

Working with local groups and market traders, we quickly realised that we should make it playful to make it social and encourage movement around the market. So we came up with the concept of a treasure hunt.

The treasure hunt uses a mission-based approach where people could pick and mix different activities from the prize-based “spot the smile” to “pick me up” tasks to the more ethnographic forms of participation from “I wish this was” to “the future I choose” – more on those later.

We wanted a way to encourage for people to record their experiences, stories and emotions about the treasure hunt to connect up to our vision of visualising transnationalism. So we invited our good friends Mindful Maps and Auralab to facilitate an experiment which you can see much more of here. Emily & Laura used tags to colour code emotions helping engage the public even more.

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Joining up the dots, in Cluj and Prague, workshops looked at how we perceive the role of emotion and motion in public space. Barcelona, Berlin and London city groups visualised the student protests to rethink the university as part of the “commons”, foreshadowing the use of public spaces by the current “indignados” and ideas on how to reinvent the university like @univproject.

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We also invited people to visualise transnational fluxes through the lens of gender in Bologna and Cluj, of multisexuality in Lublin and of new media in Amsterdam. In Cardiff and Sofia, we focused on storytelling as network, creating a collective story using text messaging in the former and exploring the narratives which the city weaved into its fabric through a poetic treasure hunt for the latter.

We feel what we see From the social market to emotional mapping via the treasure hunt, we didn’t just want people to immerse themselves in creative activity, but involve designers and visual illustrators too to make sense of the feelings the participants were experiencing through our festival.

What “open air data” could you collect? How do you capture how people feel about your activities?

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