By Hara W. Woltz and Eleanor J. Sterling
What can art contribute to participatory modelling? Over the past decade, participatory visual and narrative arts have been more frequently and effectively incorporated into scenario planning and visioning workshops.
We use arts-based techniques in three ways:
- incorporating arts language into the process of visioning
- delineating eco-aesthetic values of the visual and aural landscape in communities
- engaging art to articulate challenges and solutions within local communities.
The arts based approaches we use include collage, drawing, visual note taking, map making, storyboarding, photo documentation through shared cameras, mobile story telling, performance in the landscape, drawing as a recording device, and collective mural creation.
They allow us to expand and deepen engagement strategies beyond the scope of traditional dialog tools such as opinion surveys, workshops, and meetings. And, they allow for both individual and collective work, from spending reflective time independently, to rejoining as a group to discuss process and products. They are also particularly effective in bicultural and multicultural settings.
Visual techniques can help foster a different type of discussion than one that is primarily verbal or quantitative because they involve participants in different patterns of thinking, questioning, and interacting.