The Trust Map aimed to investigate the potential of designed digital tools in mitigating mistrust in civic-community relations. The exploratory, multi-sited North East and North London research involved Northumbria and Durham researchers working together across a number of sub-projects; these are summarised below and have individual project pages.
Design for Community Planning, Trust and Participatory Budgeting
We designed Community Conversational, a non-competitive portable turn-taking table top ‘game’ to encourage, structure – thus supporting facilitation—and document community-situated civic-related conversations. Community Conversational was aimed at helping to facilitate large or geographically distributed planning consultations. Attendees at an event were divided across tables with 6-8 individuals at each. Each table had a large map of the area under discussion and a set of question cards asking for people’s experiences of and/or suggestions for the area, soliciting contributions from all participants, yet without channeling or overly restricting the discussion. The Northumbria team produced a digital platform to capture and re-presents the conversational and location-related visual data to enable filtering and analyses of the topics discussed.
A concurrent study by the Durham and Northumbria teams examined the growing practice of participatory budgeting as a mechanism for civic engagement and the organisation of municipal resourcing.
Design to Support Poverty Action
The Northumbria and Durham research teams worked on visibly mapping local levels of interpersonal and institutional trust in a series of creative workshops. Through study of the literature and analysis of early interviews and workshop data the team designed methods to examine the ‘continuum of trust’ – with the middle ground representing the negotiated space in which relationships are tested and trustworthiness and capability evidenced. The team went on to codesign workshops to support the establishment of a local poverty action group and creative interventions that helped promote their objectives, including identifying and establishing productive relationships with local, regional and national influential supporters.
Youth Work, Trust and Social Media
The aim here was to explore social media use and challenges for young people and youth workers in an area of the North East in collaboration with a youth project between October 2016 and June 2017, including interviews (3 youth workers and 8 young people aged 18+) and a series of 3 creative design workshops (3 young people, 5 youth workers and 1 community organiser). Many challenges were revealed including the nature and uses of some of the pictures being shared, the seamlessness of this dissemination across platforms and lack of understanding around potential unanticipated and unwelcome consequences. The team fed back reports to the youth organisation along with a number of co-designed workshop tools that youth workers went on to use with the young people. Further research is required to explore along with clearer identification around specific responsibilities for issues across different agents (e.g. schools, young people, parents, youth workers, online/offline communities, regulators, criminal justice system and the police, social media platforms and the media).