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Project Doornakkers

PX Design / University Project / Municipality Eindhoven

Through psychological & user research we found that in order to fix a broken neighborhood, it is important to encourage inhabitants for participation in different neighborhood activities. In order to create awareness of such activities, we developed an interactive & low threshold informing system.

My contribution: Psychological & User Research, Interviews, Structural Thinking, Concept Development, Academic Research, Field Research, Interviewing,

Situation

Doornakkers is 1 of the 7 Dutch ‘krachtwijken’, in which the neighbourhood has a high unemployment rate and in which the neighbourhood has a poorly social structure: almost nobody knows their neighbours due to different age groups and ethnicities living there

Problem

People inside this neighbourhood had little to none outside connections and were unemployed, and also not participating in any voluntary work.

Goal

Finding what can motivate people to participate actively inside their own neighbourhood in such a way that they become an active part of the society again and presenting a design idea for it.

Process

The brief our university gave us was in a very broad spectrum: to revitalise a city. We started with doing research on what could be certain neighbourhoods that could use improvement. Through doing so we found a neighbourhood in Eindhoven which was actually a ‘krachtwijk’. This means it was a neighbourhood that was chosen by the government for important restructuring purposes, since unemployment was high, and participation in the society was low (such as voluntary work).

In order to revitalize the city, we started doing academic and psychological research on how to change behaviour within groups in order to let them communicate more and participate more into the society. We found that through multiple activities of shared and common interest, people would be more likely to participate actively in a mixed cultural society, and that people getting more active within a neighbourhood would motivate them to participate more in society (by, for example, voluntary work in the neighbourhood that could lead to job positions).

Through field research, research on the plans of the municipality of Eindhoven and talking to many different community centres within the area, we concluded that the problem was the lack of communication to inhabitants about different activities inside Doornakkers, that could rebuild a social connected feeling.

We therefore proposed an idea that would get the information about different activities within the city and neighbourhood to the people through a push and not a pull method.

First sketches of different webtool attributes

So instead of people overcoming the threshold of visiting a community centre, the information would be presented for them outside in the neighbourhood through an interactive mapping system on the streets, in which up to date information would be shown through LED-lighting in the pavement, powered by lamp poles.

First sketches of different webtool attributes