Harbinger Consultants undertakes independent creative research, design and development projects by maintaining our creative practices. Our team has artistic backgrounds and continuing with a studio practice focused on ideas and problem-solving helps keep our thinking dynamic and creative. These projects also provide the space for us to explore new knowledge and processes to inform our consulting practice and methods.
This is particularly useful in our exploration of community engagement and workshop methods, especially those drawing on new technologies and web 2.0 platforms. We are currently exploring a range of readymade technologies such as mscapes, blogging, microblogging, mapping, online meeting spaces and other social media and networking platforms to engage online modes of storytelling, design and interaction. As a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society and avid cloud watcher, John’s cloud photographs grace the banner of Harbinger Consultants’ website.
We’re interested in exploring our place in many different ways. With World Listening Day coming up on Monday 18 July, We will be undertaking a SoundWalk on Sunday 17 July through the changing acoustic environments of our locality, Aspley. Starting at the centre on Gympie Road, to and through the Hypermarket, then along suburban streets to a the Chermside Hills Reserve and then back along the creekside walk, we’ll be walking and listening to the shifting qualities of sound. In particular, we hope to explore how the sound of traffic shapes our experience of place and community. After this walk – which should be about 8km – we’ll be in need of a coffee and chat about our experience.
We are inviting interested folk to join us on all or part of this walk and help create a community experience of listening in place. Aspley is accessible by public transport – bus routes 340 and 345 from the CBD. Remember to bring water, food and sun protection. We’ve prepared a map of the route on Google Maps. In the next few weeks we will assemble some other resources and thoughts.
Linda writes a regular column for Arts Hub titled Urbanista. The column focuses on urban innovation and creativity. An archive of past columns and other writings is maintained online.
At present, Harbinger is hosting Placing, an exploration of place writing and writing place, by Linda. The project is funded by the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. The project involves multi-layers of engagement with urban spaces and community groups including writing, workshops and think tanks.
Another project conducted by Linda was Wording, an exploration of art writing and writing art. The project received Australia Council through the Visual Art and Craft Board. It resulted in a series of essays, lectures and other writings collected online.
Suburban Train Station as Community Hub
This study of a local train station inflects in the design and discourse of Transit Oriented Development. In it, it is proposed that community infrastructure (e.g. flexible enterprise and community spaces and offices for non-profit organisations) and design for sustainability should be provided at train stations. Part of the problem of suburban environments is that there is little publicly owned infrastructure and therefore train stations can represent an opportunities for clustering much needed social and cultural resources in suburban communities. If more parking is required then those structures can and should also accommodate community uses. The other aspect of this is that while a train station facilitates transit, it might also appropriately address a need of non-transit, i.e. to keep people in place through the provision of co-working spaces and alternative mobility facilities such as bike paths and/or space for bike co-ops. This proposal was also posted to Live Local, which is an online social networking place to share stories and ideas about improving your community through relocalisation.
Transmission Lines 1955 – 1974 is a project that documents Linda’s father’s working life as a rigger and linesman with the Electric Power Transmission Pty Ltd. This work is comprised of a number of content sharing and social networking efforts to archive and present this story. Her father, Quinto Carroli, kept a photographic record of his working life and the photographs featured in this map are his personal photographs from various transmission line projects around Australia and Italy in the period 1955 to 1974. His migration to Australia in 1956, to work on electrification projects, was sponsored by the company. Transmission Lines 1955 – 1974 is a personal history that marks and documents space and time. In compiling the information, it was realised there were many gaps, especially dates, and these gaps become part of the story by provoking questions and assumptions. The postwar electrification projects, powered predominantly by migrant labour, were essential for building and modernising this nation.