July 22-workshop in Oslo inspired by the charette method

The significance of the July 22 is the main case of the REDO project. Researchers have studied ceremonies and assemblies following the terrorist attack, the inter-religious funerals, and the trial of Anders Behring Breivik. In October, REDO invites young adults in the Oslo region to a large workshop, in order to obtain research data to answer questions about the significance of July 22 – to them personally, to society and to democracy.

Foto: © Sara Johannessen/VG/NTB scanpix

Democracy in practice

Instead of using traditional research methods and doing interviews, the REDO project manager in REDO, Jone Salomonsen, has been inspired by the democratic practices used by new global movements, such as the Occupy movement. Here, people recruit themselves, and all calls of significance happen in assemblies.

This is a form of practicing democracy that can enhance the ability to listen, utter opinions, affect the conversation, create something unexpected and perhaps reach agreement on a few important issues.

By organizing this workshop the researchers examine whether staging of this interaction form can provide new and interesting information about what young adults in Oslo are thinking about the significance of July 22.

Participants are recruited by word of mouth

DogA – The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture – is the venue for the research experiment, scheduled to October 20-22. Participants are self-recruited, and the goal is that many people, perhaps as many as over 100 every day, come to contribute their reflections as research data.

Spreading the word through invitations, posters, social media and word of mouth, the project group hopes that young adults in the Oslo area will take interest in the project, and that they can be inspired to attend one or more evenings at DogA.

Inspired by charrette

The multi-workshop is inspired by the method Charette. This is a method that is widely used in urban development projects and local regeneration. It is based on direct citizen participation, where decision-making happens horizontally, rather than top down.

In a Charette, politicians, business interests and "ordinary citizens" are invited to a few intensive days of exchange. Everyone is given opportunities to present their interests, but must also allow for the wishes of others to be heard. The goal is consensus and concrete, realizable solutions.

The charrette method is not common in research, but REDO wants to test whether it can provide research data to the project on July 22. By the use of various group activities, questions concerning the significance of July 22 will be raised in different ways. Coffee Table discussions, free group discussions and individual interviews are arenas to share experiences and discuss the topic. A design workshop is another method, where the question of how July 22 should be commemorated is solved in collaboration with an architect. In addition, the participants are given the opportunity to express themselves creatively, either in writing or drawing, on a white wall.

The workshop runs over four afternoons: October 20 - 22, 2014. It will be well documented by the researchers involved, and result in an ethnographic film, as well as a larger conference in 2015, and published books.

Visit the project website, and follow the project via facebook and twitter.

(Norwegian only)

Published Sep. 24, 2014 1:51 PM - Last modified Oct. 2, 2014 11:34 AM