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Documentation As Process

As one stage of the IFRC park project ends, it is the perfect time to reflect on a key component of the process – that of documentation itself. Documentation, in urbz’ vocabulary, is a mode of engagement. There is a simultaneity to the act of documenting and involving the subject in the exercise, listening to their views, and incorporating them into the projections that follow.

Documentation can take different forms – texts, drawings, maps, photographs, audio recordings and videos. The very first steps towards evolving a participation-based plan started with listening to the voices and concerns of passers-by, inhabitants and staff of the IFRC building. These were audio-recorded and became the basis of early formulations of the project. Then as the next steps unfolded, documentation took on the shape of mapping and drawing the precinct. Slowly, words transformed into images, sentiments, emotions and ideas. These became part of a constant feedback loop through exhibitions that were shared with the participants throughout the process. That is how the concepts that became the foundations of the emerging draft plan emerged.

Documentation is basically about listening and starting conversations. It becomes a repository of memories through different tools – visual or textual. This repository is available to constantly draw from, to remind ourselves of all the possibilities that were possible, that were suggested and the reason that a particular set of choices for action were made.

In the final set of videos, we present here a conversation on documentation and a presentation of the Draft Plan itself. The conversation is with Francoise Le Goff, Director, IFRC in which she emphasizes the role of documentation as an incremental process and how it shapes concepts and ideas to become the basis of the next move, step by step.

The second video is a presentation of the Draft plan itself, made by Matias Echanove from urbz. The draft plan explains the set of suggestions made by the urbz team through the consultation process as a draft version of the proposed plan – which continues to evolve as it moves to the next stage.

We felt it was appropriate to present both videos in this post as they signify the importance of the process. The Draft plan remains part of the ongoing set of conversations. It is presented here as an archive, a reminder of the ongoing process as well as an invitation for feedback and a platform to reflect on. It is itself an important act of documentation and a landmark moment in the ongoing process.

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