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Handbook for Norm-Critical Visualisation is Launched - For more Inclusive Cities

Visualisation is a key tool for communicating visions for urban development. However, if the images that are shown are homogeneous in terms of gender, functional capacity, ethnicity, etc., there is a risk that segments of the population are made` invisible and are thus subject to discrimination. Now a guide and handbook that challenge standards with concrete tools have been launched with the aim of contributing to more inclusive cities.

- If we only think of our city as a place with nice weather and happy children who are playing, we will always miss several important perspectives. The city is complex, should be complex and we must also be able manage it as such. Simply put, we must stop simplifying and beautifying. Standard-creative visualisations give use the opportunity to shape everyday life from several perspectives, says Lisa Wistrand, cultural geographer and community planner at White Arkitekter.

The background for the handbook and guide is the NormViz project in which Chalmers University of Technology, RISE, Skanska, White Arkitekter and Visual Arena at Lindholmen Science Park have collaborated.

The handbook and guide are intended for people who work in various ways with visualisations in urban development and architectural projects. The intention is to contribute to a greater consciousness of how standards are expressed in visualisations and to offer concrete tools and tactics for standard-critical work.

- How the planned city is visualised, even if it's just thoughts and ideas, can be very influential. Visualisations that only represent or show one segment of the population have a tendency create cities for that particular segment, but not for everyone, says Marcus Jahnke, researcher at RISE research institution.

- We simply have to become better at experimenting and challenging when we shape different environments. In doing so, we can help create a more inclusive community.

- Norm criticism and norm creativity are unusual terms for a lot of people. Making a handbook and guide that are accessible for everyone is about spreading the knowledge that we have developed in the research project. In the role of urban developer, we at Skanska are thrilled to be involved and develop not only ourselves, but also an entire sector, says Christina Ingelsten, business developer at Skanska Sverige AB.

- The project and the handbook that have become a tangible result are an important part of our work for visual and virtual innovation. Practical tools that can be shared with other parties are effective messengers, says Petra Juhlin, project manager at Visual Arena.

Read more about the project here ->