Civil society organizations, state institutions and private companies working on local issues can use the card set to host a Shared Walks activity for non-profit purposes. It is suitable for use in community building, neighbourhood mapping, local participation, awareness raising, social inclusion, non-formal learning, knowledge sharing, team building, networking, socio-spatial research etc
Shared Walks opens a playful space for the exploration of the environment and others by walking. Participants walk together in pairs, collect and share observations, impressions, thoughts, feelings, memories, stories, associations etc, and map their city from different perspectives. Different types of walks propose minor changes to the way we walk normally to pave the way to an appropriation of places, get in relation to others and trigger self-awareness. You can organize a Shared Walks activity only for the process itself and the experience of participants, but it is also possible to get some additional, concrete outcomes. It is a tool for knowledge production, so you may decide to combine it with interviews or group discussions depending on your context. Additionally, you can use it for neighbourhood mapping, sharing the participant input in collective maps - either physically printed on-site or online.
Any organization or individual who considers the method useful for their purposes can use it for free under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
... themes related to senses, perceptions and bodily experiences in public space; personal memories and social histories for collective imagination and narration; personal limits in relation to others in society; awareness on the cultural diversity in cities; discovering the symbolic dimensions of physical spaces; and finding comfort in people and places by exploring and discovering public spaces.
... Shared Walks can create an activity for their target groups, who will be the participants of walks. Considering the target groups of your organization and your purposes, you can decide to focus on a certain age or interest group or open the activity to the participation of the general public. It is also possible to organize a closed activity for an invited group of people or employees of an organization.
Be sure about why you do what you do and for whom in your specific context.
Announce the activity early enough to your potential participants and show an effort to ensure participation.
... including all the material you need on-site and in time before the participants show up.
... they should ideally walk with someone they do not know.
... from the card set - they put back the card so that every pair has the same set of possibilities.
... on a cardboard with a colour marker so that each pair can take notes of their walk.).
(ideally one hour, at least half an hour) - by getting a challenge from the walk they have selected, always deciding on the route to walk by themselves.
For further details on steps for implementation DOWNLOAD THE MANUAL.
Do we always keep our senses alive in the city, on the streets, while walking? How can we activate different senses? Can we find out something new if we focus on one of our senses? How do we perceive different dimensions of our body and its relation to the outside world? The complex mechanism of senses and perceptions accumulate knowledge about our environment and city through praxis. In the flow of daily life, we do not acknowledge and question the role of our senses in experiencing, recognizing, and recalling the world. The walks about senses challenge and shift the accustomed patterns of one’s perception. Focusing on our bodies, especially on only one sense, has the potential to increase the intensity of perception. The walks enable new perspectives on the environment, neighbourhood, city, and create a space for new experiences.
What is the distance between real and imagined, fiction and nonfiction, past and present? How does imagination shape our world, our identities, our places? Can imagination lead to new realities? By combining different layers of past and present, dreams and realities, personal memories and social histories we are capable of creating new images of the world. The walks about fiction and nonfiction open space for remembrance and imagination and propose narrative interventions in public space. Walking a playful way and experimenting borders between real and imagined, proposes an experience of collective imagination and narration while creating awareness on diverse realities.
Are we aware of the physical, psychological and social limits of ourselves? How do we define our identities? How can we challenge our perception of the self in society? How do we interact with others out of our comfort zones? We actively live in a society, transforming it and being transformed by it through interactions. We are usually not aware of the reciprocal relationship between society and our identities, and the impact of social space on ourselves. The walks related to personal limits propose playful ventures and physical interventions in public space, that challenge the limits of our bodies in relation to other people in society. Including the most visible and challenging types of walks, this theme deals with creating awareness of the personal limits of ourselves, our walking partners, passers-by, observers, and inhabitants in the city.
How do we see different social behaviours in a city? What are the traces of different cultures on streets? Do we recognize different ways of spatial appropriation? Are we aware of the scope of diversity in our city? The walks about cultural traces aim to create awareness on the diversity of urban life including but not limited to creative expressions, subcultures, ethnicities, languages, ways of living and exchange in public spaces. By collecting traces and images of diversity and commons, the walks encourage a deeper look at the environment, questioning the roots and possible stories behind. Cultural traces can be perceived and interpreted in various ways in different cities and geographies, so hosts are especially invited to add and diversify types of walks to use in own activity.
How do we perceive places, by physical and social qualities? What are the concepts that we recognize in urban space? What is invisible but noticed through experience in specific places? Not all human practices are possible in public spaces, nor they can become visible to everyone. Physical spaces accumulate social experience and knowledge at different levels. The walks related to invisible spaces encourage the questioning, discovery and reflection on the symbolic dimensions of physical spaces and its materialized artefacts. By initiating talks on concepts related to current social issues and interpreting spaces from different points of view, they propose to imagine new spaces for the public good.
Where do we find comfort - at home, in the woods, on the streets? How can we feel comfortable in the city while sharing it with others? Where do we find comfort in public space, in commercially assigned areas, green parks, crowded squares, silent streets? What are the different definitions of comfort in relation to the diverse needs of city-dwellers? Humans are social beings that tend to group and live in certain closed environments and relations in cities, filtering mainly familiar spaces and interactions, finding comfort in social and spatial acquaintance. The walks about comfort zones try to raise awareness on our understanding and habits of finding comfort in people and places by exploring and discovering public spaces. They encourage purposeful use of spaces, trying to redefine the comfort zones out of our private spaces into public spaces where one can also find comfort with others.
Walking is a very basic and simple action with positive effects on human lives. It has a clear relationship with cardiovascular health, as well as the overall mood, energy level, happiness and self-esteem. But its impact on society has not been limited to physical and psychological health. Artistic, scientific and urban practices have been using walking in different fields of action for a long period. We were inspired and challenged by the variety and extensity of walking practices across disciplines - from ethnography to arts, from urban planning to psychogeography - all around the world. Examples are about but not limited to practices of walking as a tool for visual mapping, visual sociology or professional development; walking performances that appropriate space, develop understanding of people and histories; walking as a tool to revive collective memory and make stories visible; walking projects by artists to raise awareness on issues related to gender, ecology etc.; conferences and tours on different aspects of walking; psychogeographical approaches, artistic practices, experiments and laboratories on walking; art made by walking in landscapes; urban sound walks and action drawings; walking-based pedagogical approaches; walking initiatives based on encounters and knowledge transfer in motion; walking tours with the guidance of marginalized groups; associations, initiatives and municipal representations for walking, and many others researching and displaying the potentials of walking.
Researching the question ‘How can we walk with others?’, the initial phase of Shared Walks was designed as Walking Research Laboratories in Vienna in March - June 2018. Including and mixing different approaches from social sciences to artistic research, the main aim was to gain knowledge on different aspects of walking together as well as make participation possible for diverse groups of people in the city. Participants of the labs actively got involved in the process by experimenting different types of walks with someone else, exploring the city with a different perspective and reflecting on the process in questionnaires at the end of walks.
Based on our experience and the evaluation of the initial process, the second phase of Shared Walks focused on local interactions through Neighbourhood Mapping in September - November 2018. Following a collective mapping activity offered within a Wohnstrassen event curated by space & place in the 15. district, it was finally organized for three days within the Urbanize! Festival at Nordbahnhalle in the 2. district in Vienna. We have extended the walking methods from the previous labs and combined them with collective mapping in a neighbourhood. The area was mapped by participants from different perspectives, and the outcomes were collected both on a physical and an online map immediately after the walks.
Shared Walks continues as an independent project as of 2019, opening up its method for the use of other initiatives and the broader public by providing the Card Set developed through the public events organized in collaboration with different organizations in 2018.
Eylem Ertürk is a researcher, artist and producer living and working in Vienna and Istanbul. She has a background in social design, fine arts photography and cultural management. Since 2005, she has been working on socially engaged artistic practices, local cultural policies and cultural rights in Turkey. Her current work focuses on artistic research on social issues, platforms for urban participation and creative structures for social change. Since 2019, she is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Bernd Rohrauer combines his backgrounds from social sciences, artistic practice and social work theories in his mainly collaborative projects dealing with inclusive and exclusive social dynamics in production processes of [social] spaces.Special Thanks to our former member Nathalia Portella and designer Raphael Volkmer.