Research: place exploration & sensemaking tool

Research: place exploration & sensemaking tool

The Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Amsterdam has asked lecturer and researcher Esther Bouw to conduct research this semester into the application and use of the place exploration & sensemaking tool developed by Roos Gerritsma. This tool is now used within both the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Amsterdam and the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Rotterdam during the kick-off week, as a first introduction to the place where they will work during their lab track.

In addition to the tool itself, Roos Gerritsma first gives an introductory lecture in the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Amsterdam, after which the students start exploring and filming. Here they make a video of up to 2.5 minutes, after which a “sensemaking” session is held during which the videos are viewed and interpreted.

Students from the interdisciplinary minor “environmentally aware design” of Inholland University of Applied Sciences have now also used the tool during their excursion to TEXEL. The sensemaking session with Esther took place in Haarlem. Nice to see the differences in approach per group. It is interesting for her research to see, among other things, how much instruction is desired and how much freedom you give the students. Naturally, this depends on the purpose and when you use the tool. If this is a first introduction, a free assignment is highly recommended. They learn by seeing the mutual differences in approach and execution, but also by the (un)conscious choices they have made during filming and editing. You also get to know the students, how fanatical are they, do they want to fulfill the assignment or do they like room for their own interpretation and creativity? The videos not only say something about the place they explore, but also about themselves as a group and as individuals. So sensemaking!


The place exploration & sense making tool will get a completely new look & feel in February 2024. Esther Bouw and Roos Gerritsma from our lab are currently busy delivering the new version together with the design agency Idiots.

2 October 2023