“What three words…?”

Online app
The internet is my gallery

Published 5 January 2018

What three words…? is an online tool that captures in a simple way what places mean to people. It is aimed at encouraging people to pay attention to place. The instructions are: “First pause and reflect for a moment, and then choose three words that your place means to you. If you would like to, you can add your first name or nickname, and one word about yourself right now. This could be how you are feeling, or what you are doing. Please also feel free to browse what others have said about their places.”

Between January and March 2018, I used it as a way of gathering insights into people’s views of St Loyes as a place to live and/or work.

On Sowton Industrial Estate the common reaction to being asked about their place was bemusement, and the responses indicated a functional attitude:

retail … factory … employment place … of … work

In the suburban areas, the most common response was a sense of home:

quiet … home … welcoming home … convenient … community

There was also an awareness of nature in the area, and a sense of joy in unexpected discoveries, but tempered with melancholy as regards increasing development and the disappearance of green space:

trees … hidden … circle traffic … trees … daffodils
discovery … tennis … sadness digging … blue … unsure