11BC Community Garden Reporters Book


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  • Observation Exercise:
    Count how many people enter the garden
    Divide them by age group, gender, ethnicity

  • 11BC Community Garden Reporters Book

    1. 1. Reporters’ book A guide for design- based ethnographic research Name of the Initiative
    2. 2. Part 1: Interview
    3. 3. 1.1 Description What do they do? (Description of service idea, e.g. a community garden, a food coop, etc). What are the demands/problems this initiative responds to? What is the aim of the initiative? What happens and how does it happens? What benefits does it bring to the neighborhood? 11BC garden is a small, neighborhood space that specializes in events and provides a communal area for residents looking for personal and group serenity. The demands which this garden responds to are the needs for a natural, green, space in an urban environment. They also provide a platform in which communal neighbors can enjoy each others company and work on creating an aesthetically pleasing space for all who use the garden. 1.2 Context What is this neighborhood like? How was it before this new solution took place? The surrounding neighborhood is a racially diverse area that houses a majority of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Bengali residents. While there are many seasoned, traditional, residents, there is also a large group of students living in the area which makes it a transitioning neighborhood. Prior to the establishment of the 11BC garden, the space was a barren plot of land which was disassociated from local community members. Its potential was recognized by a neighborhood resident living at a near-by project house in the mid 80’s.
    4. 4. 1.3 History of the initiative How did the project/initiative start? Who took the initiative? Why?   Can you describe a timeline of events, highlighting success and failure aspects, major milestones? How far can you go back? How did this initiative mature? How did it turn to be a real enterprise? (registered, formalized etc.) Did it receive public or private support of any kind? Did it help change the public or policy structure? The initiative was started in 1984 by community member living in a nearby city project. It was active and run by this community member until 1998 when she passed. The community garden was inactive until 2002 when Green thumb, non profit organization, adapted the garden. 11BC garden is currently run by Christopher, a community garden manager. Because of the gardens temporarily inactiveness, there was a gap in its history thus some information is missing. 1.4 Main actors Who are the users of this initiative? Who are the promoters of this initiative? Is there a difference between users and promoters or are they basically the same? Describe users and promoters lifestyles?   Do the users work as a group or groups? Is there a network of related organizations and/or individuals? Do they have any form of connection or exchange with other similar initiatives? Was the group inspired by other examples? Do you know counter examples, (of service ideas that did not take-off), cases that went wrong? The users of 11BC garden are very approximate residents and former residents of the community who have maintained membership. The majority of the members work in the arts field. They vary from musicians, to photographers, to designers. Although there is an official manager of the garden, members’ opinion and thoughts are actively considered. 11BC is connected to a neighboring garden, Campos, which is run by the same organizer and shares a few members. There is cross promotion of events between these two gardens. 11BC is unique garden concept which acts as a community venue and focuses on events based on the shaded conditions they have.
    5. 5. 1.5. Technologies What are the technologies that the group uses? How are they used in system? 11BC uses an active live compost method for fertilizing their soil as well as sharing with other community members. They have a stage and various seating areas for their events and they use gardening methods which promote soil regeneration. 1.6. Communication What communication materials do the group have? (e.g. website, brochures, postcards, etc). What is the main purpose of these materials? e.g. to keep participants updated about activities (internal communication) or to get more participants (external communication)? Does the group want to have more participants?   The 11BC garden communicates via their communal memo board, their website, handmade event posters, and e-mail.
    6. 6. 1.7. Perspective for the future What are the perspective/objectives of the group for the next 3-5 years? What are some of the success factors and possible risks in the short medium and long term? Essentially, the long term plan includes continuing the upkeep of the garden. They have reached a point of stability and have ambitions of expanding their member pool. The more members the garden can recruit means that more community wide events and creation can take place. 1.8. Problems and opportunities Are there any specific issues/problems/barriers that pose threats to the initiative? Are there any main areas of concern among the participants (leaders and users alike)? Are there any opportunities that could be explored (that are currently not explored)? One specific concern that was outlined was the lack of water line access on the garden grounds. Opportunities which could be explored could be adopting technologies which promote light reflection into the now garden.
    7. 7. 1.9. Indications of other social innovation Do the users participate in other entrepreneurial endeavors? Do they form small initiatives on their own?  Are members involved in other “sustainable” services within the community? (Ex. Food Co-op, carpooling, community gardens, etc)? Do you see evidence of wider networks that these users contribute to?     A few members of 11BC participate in other gardens as well. Their dedication to the garden also spans from planting in the garden to creating sculptures and artworks to put in the garden. A few members donated their time and skills to pave the walkway of the garden. Neighboring businesses interact with the garden by donating food and other materials for the events held there. 1.10. References Website of the initiative Interviewee name and contact information (email, address, phone number) Other references (websites, articles, other people we should talk to) www.11bcgarden.com Christopher - cbat7@hotmail.com Alexia Weidler - alexiaweidler@hotmail.com
    8. 8. Quantitative Data Exercise How many members does the initiative have? How many are very active in the initiative? How does individual spaces compare with shared/group spaces? How many members are involved in other community-based services? (Food Co-op, activist orgs, clothes swapping, bike sharing, etc.) What is the size of the initiative in square footage? The 11BC garden has 10 core members who posses keys to the gate. In addition to the key holders, the garden is public to anyone who passes by. There is an extremely organic setup to the garden. There are no group spaces and individual garden plots are first come first serve. The garden lot is 96x22, a classic city lot size.
    9. 9. Part 2: Pictures & film
    10. 10. Photo Instructions Please take close-up detailed photos due to the winter conditions of gardens (ex. Buds, small greenery, tools, gathering spaces, colorful areas) Photos may ONLY be taken with a high megapixel digital camera (no iphone photos or low resolution photos) Choose highest picture quality setting that camera allows Always ASK permission before taking photos or footage of people and/or spaces See Release Form on the final page of this document. You MUST have Release Form(s) signed by the photo/footage subject.
    11. 11. Photo checklist 1.Context 1.1 The general context (e.g. landscape, urban area, etc) 1.2 The close context (e.g. the neighbourhood, etc) 1.3 The place from outside (e.g. building, house, etc)   1.4 The entrance (e.g. signage, access door or gate, etc) 1.5 The place from inside (e.g. dedicated room, private places, gazebo, pond, planting areas, recreational areas, etc) 2. Participant 2.1 Two to three typical users (show them in different situations, e.g. portrait/standing, in-action, etc) 2.2 The organiser/provider (portrait/standing, in-action, etc) 2.3 Show something characteristic of the user’s motivation to participate? 2.4 Show the key participants in the service/organization (e.g. leaders, gatekeepers, organizers, connectors, innovators, etc) 3. Material Artifacts 3.1 Show communication materials of the organization (leaflets, signage, etc) 3.2 Could you show essential objects that users interact with, or that provide key moments in the service? 3.3 Could you show evidence of entrepreneurial work by users or providers? Show intangible/tangible innovations created by users or providers. 4. Benefits 4.1 Could you show participant benefits? organiser benefits? collective benefits? environmental benefits? economical benefits? 5. Perspectives for the future 5.1 Could you show the future perspectives of the solution?
    12. 12. Film guidelines Please take footage of the following:  The person/people you are interviewing. Ask them to introduce themselves, their role in the organization, and a brief description of the organization (30 sec)  A brief history of the organization (15-30 sec)  A typical activity taking place in the space including participants of the organization (30 sec-1 min)  Participants of the organization interacting with each other (30 sec)  Participants of the organization interacting with the space/props/ objects (30 sec)
    13. 13. General Release       It is hereby agreed by and between the parties that this document shall constitute a general release authorizing Parsons The New School to use the photographs, statements and video of the undersigned subject in perpetuity, without any compensation.   It is also understood that the photographs, statements and/or videos are to be, and may be, used by Parsons for photographic displays, exhibits, on institution’s website, and the like, or for inclusion in any brochures, advertisements, newspapers, newsletters or any similar activities including print, television or electronic media, at the discretion of Parsons The New School.   It is further understood by and between both parties to this agreement that the undersigned subject is not to be compensated for the use of said materials by Parsons The New School. The execution of this document constitutes a waiver of any rights to compensation now or in the future.   It is further understood by and between both parties to this agreement that this written document constitutes the sum total of all discussions, negotiations and agreements had with respect to this release, and that this document, when executed, represents the entire agreement and understanding between the parties; any agreement or understanding not contained in this document is specifically and categorically denied.      Date: Subject   Witness