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Experiencing Communities - Group Project

Project Statement

In a community of three (Alex, Carlos and myself) we teamed up to approach this project. The project consisted of gathering source materials and presenting a site that referenced a particular site on the web: http://www.italiansoflondon.com/ with a mind to possible improvements. The day the project was presented to us, we were asked to start by gathering source materials. We were given Borough Street Market as our source reference. The first technical problem was that no-one in our group owned a digital camera. As it turned out we spent several hours trying to obtain one on loan from Goldsmith’s College resources. They didn’t have any to spare and we eventually managed to obtain one with the help of a secretary in the Design Department. Thus armed with the camera and our sketchbooks our party made our way by bus to the Borough Market. We spent the rest of the day sketching scenes in the market and taking photographs (see sketchbook). The camera turned out to be inadequate – it used up four batteries over the space of maybe forty photographs. Undaunted, we made the best of a bad lot and gathered our material consisting of sketches and photos along with our impressions of the market. We chatted to members of the public as well as the market traders.

The first aspect of the market that came across was its exclusivity. The Borough Market sells mainly organic and specialised food. This means it is of good quality but also expensive. Consequently, the average customer tends to be reasonably ‘well-heeled’ and could not be considered a fair cross-section of the general London community. This aspect we considered important. Its exclusivity marked it out as different from the average London food market.

In the following weeks we had a couple of visits from Davide, a co-creator of the Italians site. He spoke about what they wanted from their site and what improvements might be considered. As mentioned previously, the exclusive nature of the Borough Market now tied in with the exclusivity that Davide outlined as part of the intended ambience of his site. He explained that their site was aimed at ‘professional, expatriate Italians living in London’ and not the general public. As such the Borough Market was eminently compatable with this intention.

While there were several deadlines that more or less coincided with the Design project, it was regrettable that our group did not manage to reconvene before the appointed presentation date. It meant that we had three separate ideas for the project which had to be stuck together on the day and presented. I feel this is mainly the reason for the lack of co-ordination and focus in the final presentation.