Fostering Social Innovation through Digital Place-Making in Ramingining
Article by Annika Sutter
by Dr. Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek
This pilot study explores how digital innovations in place-making informed by co-design processes and Indigenous knowledge can serve as an interventionist strategy to build resilience and drive innovation that strengthens culture and connections to country. With community-based participation at its core, place-making is a design-led process and shared knowledge space that brings people together.
Working with the Bula’bula Art Centre and Yolngu community in Ramingining, it involves the enactment of a locally-driven digital place-making project for the Bak’bididi cultural festival. Digital forms of place-making include projections, screenings and installations. Here, digital place-making is conceived as a mechanism and space to explore community capacity, build social capital and drive innovation. "Placemaking is kind of like a social space," says lead researcher, Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek, "You produce things, but it's about engaging people in dialogues about things they may want to do and shift in terms of the way they perceive and engage with their environment in the longer term. Largely the place-making space is a kind of shared experience that sets up conversations and relationships."
This project follows on from a previous project in Western Australia where the community created street art that respects Gija culture and remains in the community today. However, the Ramingining project will be a temporary installation to test different ideas and see how people want to engage with the project in the future.
Findings will inform a comprehensive place-making strategy, developed with the Yolngu people of Ramingining to develop sustainable Indigenous-led creative industries, employment opportunities and place-based enterprises in Arnhem Land.