Welcome to the Neighbourhood took five groups of brave explorers on an adventure around West Windsor on Monday in order to highlight the potential to pay particular attention to the many things that usually go unnoticed in such a transient area.
Given that the neighbourhood surrounding the University of Windsor is made up mostly of student rental homes and the routes that many folks take to get to and from campus, inevitably we rarely get the chance to see some of the things that make this neighbourhood what it is.
So, two hours, three hundred photos, and many great stories later, our algorithmic walk was a huge success!
A quick warning, after the jump there’s thumbnails for the three hundred photos!!!
Walk for two blocks south to an empty driveway, lie down in the driveway, take a picture of the sky, and then
Ask the next person you see if they are American, if yes, inquire about the reason behind their visit, and then
Walk east until you feel safe, take a picture at the exact moment you feel safe, and then
Turn right and walk for three blocks, take a picture of the next house you see with brown shingles, and then
Cross the road and wait until you see two people who you think are a couple, take a picture of them, and then
Walk 3 blocks east and take a picture of the nearest house that has a distinct smell, and then
Walk until you see someone on the front porch, introduce yourself and take a photo of them with you, and then
Walk east until you see a sign in another language, take a picture of it, and then
Walk to the campus or sculpture garden (whichever is closer) and take a picture of a public artwork, and then
Walk south until you see a place with an well-kept flower garden, take a picture of it, and then
Walk north until you see a for sale sign, take a picture of it, and then
Walk east until you see a front yard that you would consider “nice”, take a picture of it, and then
Turn right and walk until you see a vehicle that was made in Windsor and take a picture of it, and then
Walk south until you a see a Chrysler car, then cross the street and take a picture of it, and then
Walk south until you see a rental sign, take a picture of it, and then
Walk east until you come to a street with a boulevard, take a picture of it, and then
Insist on giving the next person you see a high-five take a picture of it, then turn left, and then
Turn to the right and take a closeup photo of the siding on whatever house is closest to you, and then
Turn left and walk for one block, take a picture of the nearest street sign, and then
Walk north until you see a tree other than a maple, take a picture of it, and then
Cross the street and take a picture of whatever is across the street from you, and then
Walk south until you see a house that has an address ending in 5, take a picture of it, and then
Walk west until you see a significant pothole in the road, get up close and take a picture of it, and then
Ask someone for directions to the heart of the city, take a picture in the direction they point you, and then
Walk north until you see a house with the curtains over the windows on the 2nd floor, take a picture, and then
Walk east until you see a house with what you would consider an overgrown lawn, take a picture of it, and then
Walk west until you see a boarded up house and take a picture of it, and then
Stop, face the north and take a picture, and then
Walk one block to the east and take a picture of the bridge from wherever you are, and then
Note the number of trees you can see from where you are, take a picture of that number, and then
Walk south until you see a poster taped to a street lamp post, take a picture of it, and then
You’re Done, head back to 362 California !!!
You can also have your own randomized algorithm spit out by visiting this page and refreshing it if you need to. It should fit on one 8.5 x 11 page if you want to print it out.
Each step in the algorithm ended with the group taking a photo. This type of visual research helped to inform us about many, many more details of this neighbourhood than we could have ever realized on our own, which is why the project was so exciting for us.
Below are the photos from each of the groups. We didn’t realize the level of organization it would take to reference these photos to the algorithms that each group had, so they’re just ordered by the group that took them. Some of the photos are probably more obvious than others in terms of what step in the algorithm that they reference. Oh, and all of the photos below are thumbnails linked to larger versions of the photos, I figured that having a post with 300 photos straight up might be tough.
In the future, it’d be awesome to be able to do another walk and have people somehow uploading their photos as they go … also, the next time we do an algorithmic walk, we’ll cut down the steps to around 20, it seemed 30 was a bit too many. Any areas of the city that you would like to randomly explore? If so, let us know.
So, thank you again so very, very, very much to everyone who came out and participated in our adventure!!!! And, if you haven’t already checked out Windsor Visuals‘ post on the walk, do so now!