Design is an important element in both Art & Humanities Informed Research as adopted by the Hydrocitizenship project. Design is one of the disciplinary domains of the Arts & Humanities Research Council who are funding the project, with Design a strategic AHRC research priority. This includes architectural, landscape and product/industrial design and history, with Co-Design a particular ‘highlight’ theme in relation to the Connected Communities programme.
In Hydro terms, much of our water resources and infrastructure is man-made and ‘engineered’, in our Lee Valley case study in particular this includes the 400 year old ‘New River’, Lee Navigation Canal, the system of Reservoirs that provide drinking water to Londoners - to the locks, dockside and utility buildings including Pumping Mills, Sewage Works and tunnels. Waterfront development has also been rediscovered in the post-industrial era with growth of residential developments along canal and riversides. In our Hackney Wick & Fish Island neighbourhoods this includes new ‘urban villages’ of housing, schools, clinics and other facilities, bringing new residents in close proximity to water for the first time. One issue our Community Partners are concerned with is the relationship of new dwellers and water/waste consumption - how behavioural change can be achieved in order to accept the recycling of grey and black water in houses and other buildings. This is only one of the co-designed themes we will be investigating through design thinking and approaches such as Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable (DESIS) which will be developed through community consultation and scenario building, design charrettes and visualisation.
To read more by Graeme visit his page on hydrocitizens.com