Participatory Documentary [and the city]: A research project from Daryl Mulvihill

Interactive documentary crosses over into a number of disciplines and urban ism is no exception. Katerina Cizek’s work with Highrise and McMillion’s recent documentary Hollow both explore people’s relationships to the environments they live in and how they could be improved. Architect and urban designer Daryl Mulvihill is continuing this research through a project entitled Participatory Documentary [and the city].  His company dmau ‘s work focuses on projects – designs and documentaries – that improve the public realm, with an emphasis on work that has a positive social or environmental impact.


Image from the Thousandth Tower case study, click the image to find out more. 

This current research project is funded by the Dutch Creative Industry Funds and  includes interviews with Cizek and McMillion, alongside case studies, essays and archive films. As the research overview explains:

The potentials for the use of documentary practice in urban research and design projects go much further than the traditionally formatted video production. New interactive documentaries combine film with a range of other media; photography, maps, soundscapes and data visualisations to create an immersive experience for the viewer. Next to this participatory documentary has the ability to empower and engage communities by bringing their story to a wider audience. We will see how interactive and participatory documentary is not simply about producing stories. It is as much about creating a process centred around storytelling that engages both with the voices of people and the places they are from.

The research is ongoing and Daryl will be adding further work in due course, including a second phase pilot documentary developed from the findings of the research.  Daryl will update us here at i-Docs of any additions to the work, however if you are interested and want to know more you please contact him directly via his site