Sample course offering from 2014-2015:
Waymaking Public Built Environments for Urban Wayfarer Engagement and Wellbeing
Peter Pennefather (Instructor), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waymaking is defined as “a multidisciplinary knowledge media design methodology and a constellation of values, practices and technologies for promoting human engagement with particular built environments. It builds on Wayfinding and Placemaking insights with the goal of creatively constructing and sharing experience of a given space with other users and stewards of that space such that the engaging power of the place is enhanced”. Waymaking is different from hacking in that it aims to increase the appreciated quality of the built space/place rather than re-purposing it. Here quality is defined as the degree to which the built space/place is meeting or exceeding its build specifications while also promoting other desirables like the wellbeing and social engagement of people affiliated with the space.
A major focus this year will be on waymaking activities that activate public spaces/places used by urban wayfarers. The term wayfarer traditionally is associated with people traveling on foot. It is extended here to include people using open mobility enhancing technology like running shoes, bikes, skateboards, strollers, walkers, and powered mobility devices than can double or triple range the average wayfarer speed of 5km/hr or enable that speed to be achieved despite burdens and disabilities. The aim of this reading course is to discuss papers that explore values, practices and technologies useful creatively activating “en-passant” connectivity with the public spaces being navigated by wayfarers. These liminal public spaces include but are not limited to: sidewalks, walkways, lobbies and other privately owned public spaces (POPS), as well as public parks and squares, community centers and libraries.
The goal of the course is to explore knowledge media designs for waymaking kits that instantiate waymaking ideas for promoting public engagement between transient wayfarers in these liminal spaces with the diverse communities linked by and to those space in ways that enhance social engagement and wellbeing. The designs will be informed by seven facets of influences relevant to 1) how a specific public built-environment case was originally imagined, 2) how it is currently maintained, and 3) how it could be activated in ways that promote wellbeing and engagement.