DESIS - Public Engagement - Speculative Design
The world has changed a lot since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was written in 1982; even more so since our original constitution in 1867. They don’t account for the rise of technology, the internet, increased globalization, and environmental concerns. With the world in such political turmoil, we also wanted to increase civic engagement and give Canadians a platform to speak out about what they value. Our aim is to engage the public in a discussion to determine what our constitution could look like for the 21st century. It is an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities as a country. The world and society has changed since 1982– should our constitution?
A Crowdsourced Constitution had several parts. Smaller, informal, and stand-alone interventions were executed on campus. They were prompts left in stairwells, elevators, bathrooms, and in the halls. While some suggestions were far-fetched, it gave us a great start and prompted amazing conversations. We used the knowledge we gained from the results to inform a trial workshop. From that, we further refined our project for our public workshop downtown. With the public, the project became more than the pages people left behind. We learned incredible amounts from the conversations we had with individuals. Some told us their priorities and others, even if they didn’t engage, hopefully left questioning their values and how they may or may not be reflected in our country’s’ constitution.