All forms of consensus are by necessity based on acts of exclusion. — Chantal Mouffe
Skiljelinjer, Swedish for "lines of demarcation", is an architectural research project exploring new tools and decision-making frameworks for collaborative design processes. The project explores Mouffe's writings on agonism,i.e. processes driven by controversy instead of consensus, while at the same time acknowledging the potential of evolving and malleable decision-making protocols within collaborative processes.
The research is done through multiple workshops in different contexts with different user groups. Each workshop departs from a brief and specific decision-making framework. The users’ design together departing from the brief, using a custom augmented reality design app. The app lets the users co-create, vote on and fork proposals. The use of AR allows the virtual proposals to be situated in the physical environment they are designed for.
After each workshop session, the proposals are filtered depending on their ratio between upvotes and downvotes, which allow us to find either the most popular proposals, the least popular, or the most controversial. This way we can experiment with different decision-making protocols in deciding the outcome of the collaborative process.
Our key questions for the project are:
- What effect does a decision-making framework departing from conflict instead of consensus have on a collaborative design process? Does it allow more voices to be heard?
- Can a decision-making framework that changes over time be used in a collaborative process, and what are the effects?
- How can augmented reality aid a collaborative design process in a shared physical space? Does it aid the negotiation of space within the project?
- How can we create a design process which allows more participants to have their voices heard in the planning of the city?