GDE750 - Week 18, Module 1

Week18 : Critical Report

This week I am aiming to complete my critical report in order to have the design and bibliography resolved by the end of next week. A lot of the design aspects of this project I will put on hold until I am able to have a completed report to reference to.

Above is a screenshot of Dan’s feedback from my latest draft I posted onto the Ideas Wall. It’s really valuable feedback and I’m keen to implement it within my work.

His main focus of feedback was developing on the reflection on the impact of the exhibitions I’ve spent time researching. Upon reflection I acknowledge I haven’t spent much time reflecting on these case studies and this is where I need to improve.

Both Polution Pods and Ice Watch are immersive yet different exhibits which had a powerful impact – both of these were analysed in different ways. For example, Ice Watch used Social Media to look at and assess the changes and impact the exhibit had on the visitors. Pollution Pods used qualitative data post-exhibit where they asked the visitors certain questions and encouraged the to consider their own CO2 emissions post-visit. This was not a very successful way of understanding the impact of the exhibit as many visitors failed to take up the opportunity to caluclate their own CO2 emissions at home. This is again something to seriously consider when developing my exhibition – it needs to encourage change in a realistic and achievable manner.

I was also lucky enough to get feedback from my peer Jess – we had a conversation last week to discuss our projects and it really helped me to put my ideas into words and get across the topic succinctly. I can’t thank her enough for her help here and encouraging me to get the motivation required to complete this proposal.

Jess’ initial comments really outline where I’m doing well and where I need to improve – specifically HOW this project is personal to me and WHY it excites me – perhaps something I’ve not really considered before, and it is a very personal topic to me so I need to address this. Re-reading the introduction to my critical report, it does read very academically but not specifically personally so I will address this.

As with Dan, I have done the case studies and research but not reaqlly mentioned at what point I realised this is the direvtion I need to go in. Definitely something I can address and easily update here.

I am so pleased about the final project outline – I am very much aware that I “waffle” and this sometimes directly impacts my writing – meaning I dont’ always make sense or have much clarity to my writing.

I want to answer the questions that Jess highlights here – I have the answers but I need to articulate them and get them down in writing to fully make sense of them.

Why is it so important that people see how the City of York can be transformed and what is the call to action?

For me, having lived through the 2015 floods of York, we’ve been assured by the Council that “yes, we’ve invested millions of pounds into the flood defences” yet do they stand the test of time? Should the predicitons be accurate, we will be facing major flooding more than once per year (which we’re used to) and parts of our City will remain underwater.

I want to help people understand that with investment in the right sectors, we don’t need to be scared for the future of our city – we can have flood banks installed to absorb excessive amounts of surface water, we can encourage the Council to invest in the flood blockades in front of the riverside properties. We’re not just showing people that York will be underwater in 50 years, it’s HOW we can creatively get around our future issues.

It’s also vital that we include an exhibit which disintegrates – eg the Sandbox exhibit which will wash away with the next flood. It’s important to have something which demonstrates the changing in times and how this can affect a solid feature. The Guardian published a Photoshopped image of the Shambles underwater recently and it was met with severe backlash on York newpapers – claiming they were scaremongering and being ridiculous – however, looking at future predicited flood maps, it’s clear that this could be a potentially real scenario. York Council hit back at this, saying our City will be protected when it’s needed and for tourists not to be put off. Obviously, this image could have had a direct impact of the tourism industry in York, making it less appealing if it was a risk for immense flooding. BUT I think sometimes these extreme ideas and visuals are needed to spark a conversation – which is exactly what happened and leads me onto the next question…

What do you want your visitors to do when they have visited the exhibit and why?

I want them to talk. I want locals to discuss the exhibits and I want discussions in place for people to openly talk about the future issues we face. There is a repeating issue here where York floods every year, buildings along the river get flooded for a few days, have complete refurbishments, replace their carpets and furniture and then get on with their lives as per usual. Why should we have to take this year on year, with more and mre buildings being affected each year? Surely having a conversaiton and discussion about how we can help prevent further property damage would be useful?

As with previous exhibits, asking each visitor to alter their carbon footprint or sgart recycling is almost pointless at this stage, it needs to start with higher up and we need to be pushing on the Council and Government to make the necessary changes now. We need to act now rather than after a devastating event – such as the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

It’s not an exhibit to solve Climate change here and now. That’s never going to happen, but, as proven by Ice Watch and Pollution Pods, it sparks conversations. It brings the issue home and it translates this data and negative daily news into a realy and tangible thing. Right here, in front of us.


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