With financial support from the EU Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme

DOCUMENTATION 3rd Network Meeting “Participation and Democracy in Europe”
“Co-designing for interaction in Public Spaces”

Prague 28th-30th September 2012

On September 28th – 30th, 2012 the third meeting of a network of NGOs and Academics working on topics of “Participation and Democracy in Europe”, took place in Prague (Czech Republic), at the bright location offered by the Anglo-American University.

THE NEED The meeting is the result of the effort made by some members of the larger network who worked in task forces and felt the need to meet again with the purpose of updating each other about the state of the network and to prepare for the next meeting happening in Paris in 2013. In the months of July and August, this “core” group of 10 members had several skype calls to share their expectations and to prepare for the agenda. The organization of the meeting itself, is the result of a shared effort between the local members in Prague (who took charge of the logistics); the task force of the meeting planned for Paris (who invited the rest of the group to design an interaction in occasion of the exhibition “United States of Europe”, taking place at the Gare du Nord in February 2013) and the rest of the group (who answered to the invitation). THE PURPOSE The purpose of the meeting was two-fold: 1- Checking the state of the art of the network and adopting a strategic vision; 2- Learning to collaboratively design interactions in public spaces by using the case study U.S.E.


The expected outcomes of the meeting were: - Documents concerning the description of the network to be used for funding proposals - Three tested interactions in a public space to be customised later on in Paris THE PARTICIPANTS

The group was formed of 10 members of the network who represented Citizen for Europe, FPH, Danube Foundation, Goethe Institute, Viadrina University, EuropaNova, La Bergerie, and the Anglo-American University. A new member from the Anglo-American University, also joined as part of the network and with roles of logistical assistance. The experts Cathy Blisson (journalism) and Bas Kools (design in public spaces) supported the process as coaches. Johanna Czarnecka, jounalist from “Youth Connected by Sound” also joined the meeting to report the event in a radio broadcasting programme. Valentina Catena has carried the facilitation of the process with the assistance of Bas Kools.


Due to the multi-folded nature of the purpose, the meeting was divided into two distinct parts:

- Day 1: LOOKING BACK/LOOKING FORWARD. The first half day of Friday took the shape of an internal meeting focused on the network itself. The main aim was to understand expectations regarding the network; update its state; share news and opportunities and see what had been achieved so far to be able to adopt a strategy for the future. - Day 2 and 3: DESIGN AND TEST. The days of Saturday and Sunday were exclusively focussed on answering the challenge of collaboratively design an interaction in the local train station as a test for the action to be developed for Paris. By using a design approach, the team had the opportunity to work together on a practical challenge; learn the tools of the method; experience the environment of the train station; receive inputs from experts; test the ideas in a public action; create documentation to be able to achieve next goals; and understand what would take to arrive to the next meeting ready.


*** DAY 1 –FRIDAY 28th, Looking back, Looking Forward ***
After a short welcome and an introduction of the purpose of the meeting, the first activity consisted in a Check In for the participants on the question “With all the places I could be, why am I here today?”.

Main answers to this question were stating: – – – – – – – – – Excited to see a group turning into a network Where does this network go? We saw developments between Berlin and Copenhagen, this is why we are here It seems we have concrete intentions for this week end I need to find out where we are going How can we continue our developments? Make Paris more concrete! To see who is still here and who is the person behind the action We can be proud of being here/ now already!


– – – – – – – – – – –

It is my first time in a group that is doing something What got the snow ball rolling? I want to do something concrete To learn together Eager to learn how to make use of public spaces (tools and strategies) Defining ourselves by doing vs talking Paris as a prototype To bridge between meetings (between Copenhagen and Paris) Cooperative process of organization Curiosity Working together to figure out what is next

Following we had three short presentations that updated the participants on “What is boiling into the network’s pot”. These lead into three working groups on: 1) LOOKING BACK The group told the history of the network. A poster visually describing the main steps was used to harvest the main findings. The poster contains answers to the questions:       What are the principles that are guiding our network? What really happened when we meet in... Berlin, Copenhagen? What was the purpose of the meeting? What resources did we have available? Who had what roles? What did you learn? What surprised you?

After collecting insights from the group, Arianna De Mario and Sebastian Mehling took the lead of a working group having as main goal writing one page document with the history of the network To be submitted by October 11th, to be shared with the group before February 4th. This document is to be attached to the report and to be used for funding proposals as it describes the network.





An update of the resources available for the action in Paris highlighted the following elements:

Who: all 35 members will be invited to participate What: create the first public action of the network; making passers-by engage in conversations about Europe, making them participate; using the art work as a mean and purpose to act at the same time When: February 6th to 10th What has been done so far: - Francois Vlaminck and Inga Wachsmann submitted a Youth in Action 4.3 application (€13.000 to cover 70% of accomodation and travel costs: €66 per participant per day); 7 partners are involved. - the Goethe institute (Katharina Scriba) provides equipment and location - Paris group will take care of the organization and the logistics What has to be done: find extra-funding!! Ideas: City Council, Foundations, using Couchsurfing to scale up the action and cut costs of accomodation Note: If the application for the YiA is rejected, the network agreed to organise the action at the expenses of its members down Paris

Open question: How will the network behave in the future? Will it always react to the calls for help of its members as in the case of Johanna and USE? How will it be decided on which actions to engage in?

3) DESCRIPTION OF THE NETWORK This group worked on the format of a document to submit to the Commission to officially establish the network and justify the funding received so far. Who: Martin Wilhelm and Tanja Bubic What: 3/4 pager (the document on the history is a part of it) Note: The official document is just a justifier for the Commission. From this document, we could elaborate another document establishing the network which makes use of a more interactive format (Prezy?). This interactive "document" shall contain a presentation of what the network is, of its members, actions etc., and shall be regularly updated by all members. st When: Deadline for document to the Commission: 31 March; Prezy: ideally in February, to be checked by the whole network before Paris.


The day finished with a speed dots-evaluation, to measure the group feeling on the statements:  I am happy with the pace of the workshop  I am satisfied with the results of the day  I am positive about the future of this network  I find space to express myself and my ideas  I feel frustrated/unheard

Here on the picture the results of the evaluation.


Purpose: LEARN HOW TO DESIGN ACTIONS IN PUBLIC SPACES BY SUPPORTING THE CALL FROM U.S.E Outcome: Three role played ideas to be ready to be built.

After an introduction on the purpose of the day and an illustration of the agenda, the day started with the presentation of the project “United States of Europe” by Johanna Suo, head of the project. The power point of the presentation is attached to this document. This was followed by an introduction on the design process by Bas Kools, who explained the steps that are needed to understand the context and ourselves within that context. The Prezy of the presentation can be found at http://prezi.com/mjrkzhiidv5e/public-spaceresearch-guide/ .

Following the introductions, the group has been divided into three teams, each of them having their own working space, with plenty of wall surface to gather findings. The teams have been divided as following: Team Blue: Martin Wilhelm, Inga Wachsmann, Tanja Bubic Team Green: Johanna Suo, Laetitia Veriter, Christian Miess, Sebastian Mehling Team Yellow: Hrishabh Sandilya, Arianna De Mario, François Vlaminck, Rachel Danna Each participant received a kit containing a map of the city and directions to get to the train station, 4 tickets for public transport, a black market, a booklet titled “Small guide into investigation in public space” with exercises and steps to follow during the research phase. Reached their working space, each member of the team has been asked to reflect by his

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own, collect and then share their answers to the following questions about the challenge:         - What does the challenge mean to you? - What is your experience in engaging with the public? - How do you engage with artwork in public space? - What USE means for for you and how do you relate to it? - What are the essential elements of the challenge? - What do you think the context of the trainstation can bring? - Who are the people you want to engage with? - What do you want to find out / learn?

This step had the purpose of exploring the relation between the personal experience of the participant and the challenge. Here the results of the discussion: Team Green:

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Team Blue:

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Team Yellow:

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The day went on with the whole group moving to the central train station in Prague for the phase of research and exploration. Each team has been asked to divide into pairs and to explore the station by following the exercises reported “Small guide into investigation in public space”, steps 1-7 .

The day went on with Pair Interviews on “My next projects: Which is the project I would be open for collaboration?”. Each participant was invited to share with the interview partner strengths and struggles that he/she was encountering in this specific project.

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Once back at the conference room, each member of each team recorded their observations on the following questions:       1 - Moments of discomfort/comfort: when and why did they take place? 2 - Who do you think you talked to, who would you have liked to talk to? 3 - What caught you attention the most? 4 - What are your biggest challenges? 5 - What do you feel you need to learn about? 6- What can USE be for you, in a space like this?

Here what emerged after each participant shared their reflection with their own team: Team GREEN:

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Team BLUE:

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From each answered section, the team members have been asked to agree on one element that would create a Research Question. The Research Question focuses the attention of the research in designing for a specific target, for a specific learning that the team wants to gain, for a specific challenge to overcome. By doing this, it creates a frame that focus the brainstorm of solutions towards the delimited field of interest of the team. Team Blue R.Q.: “How can I recognise opportunities of a space to hook for "avarage Joe's" interest to create an interaction with non-verbal tools” Team Yellow R.Q:

Team Green R.Q.: “How can we create a situation/scenario in which the clash of persons interest/cultures is a positive learning experience?”

The next step was to find solutions able to answer the research question, looking at four aspects:  What type of interaction?  What is the content of the interaction?  Where can it take place?  How could it be shared with others afterwards?

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Here the results:
Team RQ BLUE “How can I recognise opportunities of a space to hook for "avarage Joe's" interest to create an interaction with non-verbal tools” flashmob / movie - media scene / welcome wall with your pictures for Europe / camera boot / message in a bottle / via smartphones GREEN “How can we create a situation/scenario in which the clash of persons interest/cultures is a positive learning experience?” singing (us)/ drawing/sketching (them) asking for help / verbal discussion (mutual)/ helping passers-by to carry the bag / fight / flashmob Trains / movement / Fortress Europe / Initial question depending on type of interaction / connections with art work / federal Europe (provocative) / diversity and multiculturality / European economy and politics / knowledge and joy when entering-leaving train/ when entering-leaving gare du Nord / with waiting group / with people very different from our group (hippies approaching economists) / in all places of station (no spotlight, don't put people on a stage) give something like boat, flower, hug / video, text, sound recording, song lyrics, art work / video streaming / pictures on facebook / QR codes / ask for e-mail response YELLOW

Type Interact.


motivation for my next cross-border trip / welcome" sms / what is currently in the media / what is the sound of Europe? What music shall I hear to travel in Europe?


while running to catch train / show a drawing from out of the window to passengers in a train / where people wait (train tracks, info board) / smoking corner / wifi corner /


send handwritten postcards / peoples facebook account / people leave comments + impressions / audio recorder


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The brainstormed elements lead to the creation of a scenario, a story that describes coherently the WHAT, HOW, WHERE, and the RECORDING. SCENARIO BLUE Who: non-English-speaking mother, Where: waiting in front of track board / track information board Structure the waiting space Content: Making them think / reflect about Europe Music + old school pictures Sociometry / visualisation in front of info board / Floor newspaper without language (passersby stick information on it Offer shelter (umbrella, scarf, red carpet) to accompany people and walk them to train tracks while conversating) Signal words that connect with Europe (peace, borders etc)

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“How do people use the train station?”

SCENARIO GREEN Encounter Community Traveling Share something yours with a message ask for visit and comment on webpage Where: waiting place (arrival/departure board, meeting point) give message in or on water bottle give item and ask to pass it on to someone else Interviews: my name is/ i am here 'cause / I am from / I am wondering about...and you? / Where are you at home / What represents home for you – can you write it on this boat / This is Europe for me, what is it for you / Can you gift me with a story – project / Walk with me! Timetable with special target group 3 stages: give to - pass on / encounter / interview – conversation (LEARN) Feedback: Passing-on idea

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The day went on with an input from Cathy Bliss who showed several projects of engagement in public spaces made by artists and journalists. Here a list of links to the projects showed during the presentation:

After creating the scenario, each team was asked to describe the journey that the passer-by would take into the train station. Where are the points of interaction with the “designed” elements? Where is the first contact? What resources are needed and who will do what?

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At the end of the day, the teams developed a role play to show how the interaction would work, to the rest of the group. After a short performance, each team received feedback. The result of the role play were: Team Blue: Using the space of the train station and the bodies of the members of the team, a corridor is created. Signs would invite passers-by to choose a direction to express their content with a federal approach or a national approach to European Union. Team Yellow: The passers-by are invited to play a game that leads them to multiple choices concerning their European identity. Team Green: The people waiting for their next train, are approached for an interview and are asked to share something personal.

The teams gathered together to find unity and to share their experience of the day. Some people expressed their concerns in working in small groups for the whole time, while others didn’t find this to be an issue. Also, some people felt frustrated because of the speed of the process; others found they had enough time to go through the tasks. Someone proposed that the 3 ideas would be merged, or to mix the teams. This proposal was “parked” for the time in which ideas are finalised and tested, so that each team could go though the learning process that they defined.

The day finished with a speed dots-evaluation, to measure the group feeling on the statements:

 I am happy with the pace of the workshop  I am satisfied with the results of the day  I am positive about the future of this network  I find space to express myself and my ideas  I feel frustrated/unheard

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*** DAY 3–SUNDAY 30th, “BUILD AND TEST” ***
Purpose: Prototype and verify the ideas at the train station in Prague Outcome: Action Plan for Paris After a short introduction of the agenda of the day, each team looked into the feedback coming from the rest of the group and compiled a list of what was needed to be ready to Prototype. This day was about going thorugh the steps 8-11 of the “Small Guide of Interactions in Public Spaces”

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10. BUILD/ The design process
The next step was to actually build the materials and design everything needed for the prototype.

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The day went on with the teams leaving the conference room for the train station where they tested different versions of their ideas. In this phase, they experimented with what works and what doesn’t work in their approach/ the context/ the materials.

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Back in the conference room, the teams are invited to reflect about what they experienced at the train station.  What worked well?  What failed?  What needs improvements?  What surprised you? The reflections opened up for the writing of the report of the team’s project that contains the essential information: - name of the action - how does it work? - what did you learn? - what is it needed to arrive to Paris? The reports of the projects are attached to this document.

13. Plenum “What did really happen in the last two days? What did you learn?”
To collectively share the reflections, before the action plan, the whole group gathered together in a circle. Participants were invited to answer to the question “What did really happen the last 2
days? “         –           How to interact in public spaces We are well motivated people Questions are really important- some can block; others push you forward It is real work I learned to explore with no expected results "loose control and be fine with it" If there is more control, it is still ok Surprised by how easy it was We prepared for Paris we "did": took action in public spaces We got lost/ without a map We put the ground for the public action in Paris learn design tinking skills learning methods is a learning process we wrapped up what happened so far in the network I would like to do what we do in our meetings, in public spaces (facilitation in public space) it is harder than expected i like to thought some ideas collective brainstorming teambuilding context of the space/train station

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What did you learn?  meeting face to face is necessary -"Only good preparation can get spontaneous reactions"  how to work as a group/ group dynamics  try out with different groups  how difficult it is to interact in public spaces  learned awareness skills/ tools to bring it forward  "I want to make a difference"  "What is a finished result"?

14. ACTION PLAN “What is needed and by when do we need to do what?”
Paris group: naming one main coordinator to supervise the communication flow between the members When Who 8th of All October 10th Cathy 11th October What Fill in the evaluation Notes

Click here to access the evaluation form

Send the list of links of the videos to the whole group Arianna Writing one page De Mario document with the history of and the network and send it to Sebastian Martin and Tanja Mehling All

12th October

15th of Valentina October 17th Arianna October

This document is to be attached to the report and to be used for funding proposals as it describes the network. Please, share it on google doc or other collaborative platform on line. Send the final document for Contextually, decide one each project responsible for the team who will take care of the supervision of the project and will refer to the rest of the network Finalize the documentation of the workshop and share it Send an email to the rest of DOCUMENTATIONS FROM THE the network describing the GROUPS IS NEEDED HERE. workshop in Prague and Name a responsible “buddy” that asking about showing can include the newcomer with interest in further communication one-to-one.

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20th October

engagement in one specific project of the three listed in the documentation. Valentina- Give feedback on the DOCUMENTATIONS FROM THE Bas projects and make a GROUPS IS NEEDED HERE. proposal for Paris. Share this document with the group who can give feedback until the 28th of October. Give feedback on the Paris proposal Formalize a proposal to the DOCUMENTATIONS FROM THE train station authorities GROUPS IS NEEDED HERE. Writing 3-4 pages draft of what the network is, of its members, actions etc. The whole document has to be shared by the 27th of October with the rest of the network which can give feedback until the 4th of February. Include the document about the history of the network This document will used to elaborate another document which makes use of a more interactive format (Prezy?). Deadline for document to the Commission: 31st March.

28th All October 1st Johanna November 27th of Martin October and Tanja

Here below, the pictures of the action plan(s)

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NEXT EVENT: Key dates
-All: 17th January: Opening of USE at the Gare du Nord. -All: 6th February: arrival in Paris -All 7th-8th of February: attend the first 2 days of workshop to create the action. -All 9th February: Action at the Gare du Nord and celebration. -All 10th February: reflection on the network. -All: 11th February: Departure

MISSING Links from Cathy Picture RQ- Brainstorming and scenario Reports from each team To add Ppt di Johanna l’attached Evaluation

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