“The Importance of Community Spirit”

How can a feeling of togetherness be nourished through collective democratic rituals and be inclusive of all?

At the end of the day, Alan usually sits down to have tea with the shopkeeper next door who owns a Kurdish restaurant. Alan is not too interested in politics although the two of them love to rant about it. Today they are commenting on the Living Room Activism invitation that Kyle is putting up across the street. This one is about evaluating project ideas to transform vacant land and access to Woodlands around Govan.

The Collective Community put together a kit for guerilla living room activism available in the Neighbourhood Issue, the community paper. Citizens use their windows as portals to broadcast their voices. Addressing traditional barriers to participatory democracy, The Living Room Activist is a low-fidelity light projector that offers citizens the opportunity to be involved in conversations concerning their community from the comfort of their home. The ‘Community Lights’ are collected and analysed by Kyle the data collector of The Collective Community. Feedback is posted to citizens on the next steps being taken to open up this conversation.

Participating in conversations concerning communities can be a daunting prospect. Often language, feelings of exclusion, physical access and varying capacities for participation can deter people from wanting to take part. Understanding the specific participatory needs of local communities is essential for public events to be accessible to all.

A light projector for citizens to use at home to project their voices.

Design Opportunities

  • Spontaneous Encounters
  • Direct and indirect networks

Artefact in Action

Who does this primarily exist to benefit:

Hard to reach communities that lack digital capacities or access, underrepresented voices, people who do not have the time or do not want to be exposed in public space.

Aspects to consider:

Incorrectly representing, the voices of the community could generate distrust or manipulation of public opinion. We need to think about what are the risks of blurred boundaries between private and public space, and how to respect data privacy. If people do not see change, this process might lose its legitimacy. Most importantly how can we frame this to highlight the possibilities for care with this device?

Research Evidence