WAVE Living Lab Methods

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Our WAVE Living Labs aim at creating knowledge, ideas and actions for more sustainable water areas in Europe.

Living Labs are initiated by each partner university in close cooperation with their local communities.

This page presents an overview of methods and approaches used in our living labs. Their goal is to bring universities and their community environment into a collaborative design process.

The methods are clustered into three phases starting from reaching out to the community to the actual process of creating something new in a collaborative way.

Feel free to test these approaches in your own living lab or any educational context aiming at building alternative futures for our local landscapes.

Understanding, empathizing and building trust

The methods presented here not only help in creating bottom-up local knowledge about landscape challenges and potentials. By implementing them, all participants enter a process of mutual understanding. Building this level of trust is crucial for the success of a living lab process.

Storytelling (Friedrich, Irina: Tartu + Constanta IP)

Go-Along Walk (Friedrich, Irina, Gabriel: Tartu + Constanta IP, Dachau IP)

Photovoice and Cellphone Diaries (Ellen: Nürtingen Lab, Tartu IP)

Power Mapping (Ellen: Freising/Dachau, Tartu, Naples, Constanta IP, Brussels Lab)

Mapping potentials and conflicts (Jekaterina, Ingrid, Natasha: Freising/Dachau, Tartu, Naples, Constanta IP, Brussels Lab)

Landscape Role Play - Nature constellations (Jeroen, Friedrich + Toomas)

Framing themes and setting goals

Once the landscape has been explored and explained with the above mentioned methods, many issues and topics will be on the table. We have limited time and resources, so priorities have to be set in an inclusive and participatory way. The difficult aspect here is to find the right balance between feasible short term action and over-simplification, given that landscape problems are often multidimensional and wicked. The following methods help in setting collective goals in order to build a shared vision. Such shared vision can become the basis for building a strategy leading to concrete and doable first steps.

Future Workshop (Ellen: Nürtingen Lab, maybe Freising IP)

Participatory Decision Making(Jeroen and Ellen, Nominal Group Technique)

Scenario planning(Ellen: use course material, Simon video, Nürtingen Lab, Naples IP, Brussels Lab)

Designing together

Once the community has developed its goals, strategy, design themes and priorities, the actual co-design can start. However, there is often no clear linear distinction between these three phases. Design ideas might inspire new goals and lead to a change in the strategy. Or new people come on the scene as they are intrigued or inspired by the design ideas. They might bring in new knowledge and needs and the design will further evolve.

Transect(Ingrid, Olaf: Dachau IP, Naples IP)

Mapping Resources through neighborhood Exploration (Alessandra, Antonio: Naples, Constanta IP)

Dirty Design Session (Prof. Sonja Hörster, IP Dachau)

Urban gaming(Didier, Dana: Brussels Lab, maybe Bucharest Lab)

Co-creative design sessions (Sonja, IP Dachau)

Prototyping and interventions (Katja: maybe use LED2LEAP Material, all IPs)