Using storytelling as a method for investigating social practices, The Community Hacking project identified the principle of ‘writing back’ to a subject as a form of hacking.

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A series of workshops in Edinburgh
encouraged community members
to ‘write’ their memories of the area
on to photographs that were taken
from the archives of a local
newspaper.

The AHRC funded team developed two design interventions for the area that would offer ‘write back’ facilities as constructive hacking platforms. One, a Totem Pole (produced by Whale Arts) provided a physical platform for ‘hacking’ images and sharing conversations about the area. The pole’s QR barcodes are gateways to cloud based material relevant to the location of the pole. By scanning the labeled tags citizens can access and contribute to historical photographs, stories, video and audio clips.

Robin Wood wood carving artist

Read the Community Hacking real-life comic-strip below:

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All artwork for the comic strip was produced by Kevin Allen.

The team ran a series of workshops in Edinburgh that encouraged community members to ‘write’ their memories of the area on to photographs that were taken from the archives of a local newspaper. As a result of this formative work, the team (including the community partners) developed two design interventions for the area that would offer ‘write back’ facilities as constructive hacking platforms.

The Community Web2.0: creative control through hacking project sought to explore whether concepts and vocabularies emerging in relation to the Internet could usefully be applied to understandings of off-line contemporary community relations and practices.

The project particularly focused upon the role of hacking and read-writing as a characteristic of contemporary online practices and how this is mirrored in aspects of actual life within and across communities.

The project was largely based within the Wester Hailes area of Western Edinburgh, where a network of residents and community based organisations worked alongside the academic team to establish design methods that put into practice the theoretical framework that had been developed through the project.

For more information visit the project website @ www.communityhacking.org

 

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