During the seminar series the students had to create their own tour, which among other things should cover unique elements of the area where the tour takes place. Finding an unique element can be a hard thing to do, as a lot of places look uninteresting at first sight. So, in order to train and inspire the students to find unique elements, they have done an unique kind of fieldwork: City-as-Text. During this experience the students were assigned to a neighborhood in the city of Utrecht or a neighborhood of their own choice when they were abroad. During this experience the students get to know a part of the city of Utrecht or their own city in a different way they are used to.
For instance, they may wanted to look into the function of the place in order to understand the role of the neighborhood within the city. Or they may found out what the common lifestyle in the neighborhood entails. Pre COVID-19, the easiest way of getting to know the favored insights is by having a chat with local residents. However due to the pandemic this could be hard and so we encouraged the students to be as creative as they possibly can to do this exercise. They could for example sit on a bench in the neighborhood and observe the people passing by or just listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.
At the following pages you can find the products in which the students shared their City-as-Text experience as well as the results they gathered during this unique kind of fieldwork City-as-Text is.
Get inspired and do a City-as-text of your own!