My doctoral project is looking at processes of place-making. I argue, critically, that these processes currently operate within logics of gentrification and (soft) exclusion: beautifying public spaces, while pushing communities out, through somewhat-exclusionary textbook consultation processes and activities. I want to propose play and playful-design, as tools and methods—that planners and communities can use—to make these placemaking processes (and resulting urban projects) more inclusive and diverse, and in turn create more just and resilient cities.
My focus is Montreal, for which I will look at a couple of case studies, namely Daily Tous Les Jours (makers of the Balancoires 21 in the UQAM esplanade), and La Pepiniere (makers of Jardins Gamelin, Village au pied du Courant, Little Florida in the champ des possibles). These two studios care about community involvement, and explicitly talk about their participatory methodologies—plus, what they do (and how they do it) is kind of hands-on playful and interactive.
Of course, this doctoral project requires to look deeply at notions of ‘place.’ As well, as placemaking as a practice (it’s emergence, current trends, implication, and future directions)—among other things. And for the focus of this class, to try to answer what sort of research methods can help me with this doctoral project?