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Exploded Urban Analysis: a workshop on methods of creative inquiry

Guest Speaker: Simon Yuill. Monday 13th May, 10.00-13.00, R3.41 (Ramphal Building)

Simon Yuill's spring_alpha is an art project which has drawn together methods of urban analysis, game design and Free Open Source Software practice delivered through a variety of platforms including computer gaming, gallery exhibitions and participatory workshops. The project provides an accessible entry point through which non-specialists can explore and map forms of governance and spatial system in urban contexts, allowing quite complex topics to be grasped through creative activities that engage both analytic and imaginative approaches. Participants within spring_alpha workshops have included adult learners, post-graduate researchers and secondary school students. This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to some of the methods developed by Yuill. These include approaches developed from architect Christopher Alexander's Design Patterns, urban theorist Colin Ward's Exploding School Streetwork projects, open source collaborative methods, and the use of game design techniques to 'reverse engineer' real world activities. The workshop will take the format of an introductory talk that will outline some of these methods and the thinking behind them, followed by a collaborative session in which participants will develop their own mappings of social and spatial systems within the local vicinity. The approaches demonstrated in the workshop will be of interest to post-graduate researchers as a means of extending their own vocabulary of methods or of deploying as a means of knowledge transfer and engagement with different kinds of audience.