The reading for last week really emphasized that as place makers nothing is fixed, and that the project is really at the mercy of the community, the commitment, officials, and the budget. Placemaking like life is a system it works because of networks… networks are made by and for people and create an extra set of eyes as Jane Jacobs is so fond of saying. This section also emphasized the importance of participation, and although it can be chaotic and take a lot of time it is essential to the process. Participation adds a democratic aspect as well as transparency, and it allows a guide for people in managing the process of the project. People can compromise, and design with each other instead of the administration or people not familiar with the space to design for the people. In regards to our particular project the process and main plan has already been created and is in progress, therefore, our job is to keep the process going and to talk with the community to see what they think is most important for us to accomplish this semester. We will be having a meeting with a select few the 22nd to go over the plans and keep our engagement with the community. Some of the suggests we have for the terrace that will be mentioned in the meeting involve seating, lighting, new ground surfacing, maintenance, signage to direct, ways to make the space multi-user/all age friendly… as well as keep our goals realistic and feasible for the short amount of time we have. Therefore, everything mentioned above will have to be dealt with eventually, however, a few of the previous suggests will be our main targeted focus. This meeting will allow us to see where the community is, and to gain as many insights as possible in order to come to the best conclusion for this semester’s plans.
In order to be more involved with the community the class visited an elementary school class and talked about peace, looked at drawings the kids made, and talked about the Kaki Tree Project. I was unfortunately not able to make it, but from the pictures I have seen and the other blog posts I have read, the meeting was very well enjoyed by both parties and that hopefully more integration and working together will occur.. as well as possible incorporation of the children’s artwork with the terrace and/or the potential for the terrace space to be for children.