A platform and campaign to explore service opportunities for placemaking and community building in the Melbourne suburb of Cremorne.

Role

Service design, UX design, web development, identity design.

Project info

An industry partner brief with Co Create Cremorne and RMIT Master of Communication Design Studio.
Service design team: James Ratsasane, Jacob L'Huillier Lunt, Cameron Stevens, Claudine Lestarina in collaboration with Co Create Cremorne.

The challenge

Cremorne, a small suburb in Melbourne's inner-south, is a shifting post-industrial precinct (O'Hanlon, S. and Hamnett, C., 2009). This state of change is not new to the area. Cremorne's post-colonial flux has seen booming in housing, manufacturing and now 'tech hubs'. Despite this growth, Cremorne's heritage had become more fragile. Residents wanted to reclaim a sense of place and community. I was part of a team task to design placemaking and community building opportunities.

Walter Greaves, 1872. Wikimedia Commons

We developed a co-design approach that involved community members in every step.

By using contextual inquiry, we were able to map community pain points. The people we spoke to opened up their lives for us. They were very generous, warm and welcoming. This rapport provided meaningful conversations around the kind of future community residents wanted. Mapping our findings, several critical insights emerged:


Long term residents felt the constant need to "adapt rather than feeling part of.”

Residents felt friction when having to communicate with the council.

Newer generations of residents were unaware of Cremorne's heritage. They wanted to learn more but lacked local channels for discovery.

Understanding culture

As part of our field studies, I created a culture map to better examine the attitudes and behaviour of the residents in Cremorne.

  • A place for locals

    Having synthesised our research, our team uncovered a strategic service opportunity—a platform for residents to share their stories and histories. CoCreate Cremorne' is a platform that promotes conversations between residents, local businesses and the council.

    Residents can discuss their concerns and ideas for public spaces, share their lived experience and knowledge of forgotten heritage. Key to the design was making the platform for everyone. Easy navigation, natural language and satisfying interactions were designed to make the experience approachable.

    Rapid wireframes help to quickly clarify the requirements with residents

    Taking on board the responsibility for designing the platform, I quickly develop wireframes and early prototypes to test at our next co-design workshop with residents. I confirmed that our users preferred clear menus, large hero images with a preference for fewer mouse clicks.

    Image of wireframes
    CoCreate Cremorne site wireframes

    We developed a campaign to ensure the greatest impact.

    During our second feedback session, we soon realised that elderly people and kids would be less likely to engage with the site. To ensure our message would be inclusive, we pivoted the offering to include a street campaign comprising of paste-ups, lightboxes and postcards collected from the stories we had recorded.

  • To launch the initiative, we worked with community members to organise a one night only street festival.

    Reflection

    CoCreate Cremorne launched as part of the Cremorne Street festival in October 2017. Walking tours, skillshare workshops and a night market coincided with our light projections and print giveaways. While in its early days, we hope to see the sharing of stories make an impact in the sense of community. Cremorne is now well situated to keep designing their preferred futures.