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Critical Icono Enthnography Lab (CIELab)

The CIELab originally grew from the SNSF project “Visual Communication in Participatory Urban Development Processes” and similar, earlier projects that visually documented the progress of urban change. The Lab sees itself as a research lab that examines how, in a participatory process, images and their production can help to bring complex negotiation processes to a satisfactory close. In this context, images play the role of actors that contribute to consensus building and the negotiation of compromises. Above all, they help to promote mutual understanding by means of pictorial media. For one thing, it is of principal importance that groups of different opinion get together and produce visions of a future city with the help of visual inputs; for the other, the joint discussion of visualizations that are open interpretation supports and promotes the dialogue concerning future scenarios. In the course of the process, the various interest groups come to realize that they all make up part of the city while, at the same time, they begin to understand urban areas as inclusive spaces and are ready to think about their realization.