Smart Mosaic is a communication platform and data visualisation system designed to foster more engaged discourse between Westminster City Council and the Edgware Road community. Smart Mosaic emerged as the winner selected by Westminster Council with funding. We presented the concept for future development to cabinet members during the follow-up placement.
How might we mobilise Edgware Road's community to productively share their opinions on council projects and inform place-shaping decisions?
Our primary research consisted of interviews with people on Edgware Road, including residents, shopkeepers, and visitors. We collected insights through listening to them and began prototyping platforms for discourse surrounding place-shaping. We took our prototypes out for user testing, to gauge whether our idea would be appropriate and useful for the local community. According to conversations with people on Edgware Road and feedback regarding the interface we offered them, we designed our final proposal.
Analysis of articles and comments on the internet regarding the culture and landscape of Edgware Road, as well as existing public engagement platforms such as WCC Report It, Hello Lamppost, and Fix My Street comprised our secondary research. In order to understand the scope of our potential intervention, we conducted research into case studies where pieces of infrastructure had been established to promote resident participation in place-shaping in other cities.
How does Smart Mosaic work?
Smart Mosaic is a communication platform and data visualisation system designed to foster more engaged discourse between Westminster City Council and the Edgware Road community. The system collates data from existing public engagement platforms and clusters the insights into key areas of interest for the local community, differentiating short-term issues from long-term place-shaping.
This is represented by a visual pattern in a Smart Mosaic. Both the council and Edgware Road can explore areas of interest within the Smart Mosaic, where they can view related council and community initiatives. The documentation of ongoing initiatives includes progress tracking, which details any milestones passed during the development of a given project and records any causes for delay.
Throughout the Smart mosaic, there is space to write feedback and voice ideas - these are available to view and reply to, augmenting the ongoing discourse.
Decentralised and openly accessible, the Smart Mosaic represents a distributed ledger of place-shaping information using a visual language inspired by Islamic geometry. The network of user mosaics constantly validates itself by making sure every copy is identical. This enables robust reliability and helps to evoke trust for the council among the local community.
Smart Mosaic proposal was presented to the cabinet members to ensure a fairer, greener and more sustainable community future.