Perception Peterborough was a collaborative project which brought together key local people and creative practitioners to question and reflect upon challenges and opportunities facing Peterborough over the next 20 years. Proboscis was commissioned to develop speculative future impressions and lead a series of creative workshops alongside consultantsHaring Woods Associates from July- September 2008.
hese impressions were in the form of artworks and films created by the Proboscis team and artist Matt Hyunh that emerged from research and interaction with the locals and inhabitants of the city.
The Impressions of the city were initially inspired by the ‘wanderings’ around the city, undertaken by the Proboscis team. These included interacting and speaking to over 20 local people in Peterborough to get a local sense or an inside perspective to the city. We went to various cultural and social spots such as temples and youth clubs. We journeyed through townships, villages and the city by taxi, train, bus, bike, kayak and on foot to investigate and explore the city and its surrounding landscapes. All this gave us a very rich and in-depth understanding of what the essence of Peterborough was and speaking to the people gave us inklings of how they saw and wanted it to evolve.
Through our process of exploration, we gathered deeper insights into the city that showed us that Peterborough was a diverse, multi cultural space with proactive and talented young people. It was surrounded with incredible history and folklore. It had key geographical features like the river, green spaces, fens and waterways that influenced the ways of living. Our Impressions therefore were about the seeds of Peterborough; visible and invisible, from past and future, for hopes and concerns. They spoke about what could be seeded, nurtured and grown and what seeds exist here already to help everyone do that.
The final impressions were a collection of short films, audio collage, eBooks, StoryCubes and drawings that can be shared physically and digitally and combined with existing policy material to add new perspective to the visual process.
The Project finally ended in a series of workshops that was facilitated by Proboscis( Alice Angus, Orlagh Woods, Karen Martin and Niharika Hariharan) and invited a rich mix of people which included the Peterborough council, its residents and stakeholders. Perception Peterborough was a truly interactive piece of work because it brought together various perspectives and design skills (research, future forecasting, film making and visual communication) to create unique and relevant impressions of the city.
Read more about this project here http://proboscis.org.uk/projects/perception-peterborough/
You can also download the beautiful eBooks created by Proboscis as part of the impressions here.