Eie phase 1 report

Page 1

EIE Phase 1 Research carried out for Community Gateway Association, Preston by Studio Polpo


Featuring the input & ideas of : Alan Armstrong Angela Ayres Irene Bailey Paul Kelly Lisa MacDonald David Jones Susan Lyons Veronica Macdonald Barbara Morris Jonathan Orlek Mark Parsons Edwin Pink Dan Russell Paul Smith Kiera Winstanley David Yates


Contents Background


Studio Polpo






Expedition 1


Expedition 2




Next Steps



Background Engage Involve Empower is a project involving a community led social housing provider (Community Gateway Association), its staff, its tenants and residents, the Gateway Tenant Committee and socially engaged artists. The project has two key aims: to increase external interest in the Gateway Tenant Committee and encourage new people to become members, and find new ways for the Gateway

We saw the initial Engage Involve Empower commission as an exciting opportunity to use design, and the design process, not only to raise the profile of the Gateway Tenant Committee, but also to empower its members and tenants. We worked with staff and tenants of the Gateway Tenant Committee and Community Gateway Association in an open way to explore what was possible, 4

Tenant Committee to communicate within itself and to a broader audience. Ed Pink and Dan Russell are the creative practitioners leading the project working with a steering group made up of CGA and the Gateway Tenant Committee members. Ed and Dan are working on both digital and real-life engagement techniques and will be working alongside the commissioned practitioners and project steering

and what their ideas and aspirations were, and then combine our technical knowledge and expertise with the local knowledge and skills of those we are collaborating with to enable these initial ideas to be realised. We saw a potential to work with Preston Vocational Centre as exciting and potentially allowing a greater degree of connection to Preston, as well as possibly leading to

group to develop the project. Studio Polpo were chosen to work with the project steering group on a pilot project to help develop a strategy for engaging with a broader range of CGA tenants and wider Preston residents.

further initiatives between PVC and the Community Gateway Association. We saw it as positive that there was no predetermined outcome to this commission, and felt that a piece of ‘portable architecture’ could be interpreted in a huge number of ways.

Studio Polpo Studio Polpo is an architectural practice based in Sheffield. Our work is often situated at the intersection of performance and spatial design, and we work at scales ranging from furniture to buildings. The majority of our work is collaborative in nature and we have extensive experience of working with community groups, artists, institutions, fabricators and technical

consultants. As a social enterprise, we seek to initiate and start projects as well as work to briefs, and much of our work has been around alternative housing models and the creative re-use of neglected spaces.


Studio Polpo is a founding owner of Chopshop CNC a community fabrication facility in Sheffield, with whom we have collaborated on a number of performance projects and art


Workshops As part of this pilot, or research project, Studio Polpo arranged four workshops with Community Gateway Association (CGA) Staff and Gateway Tenant Committee (GTC) members, Edwin Pink and Dan Russell. These, along with their immediate outcomes, are documented on the following pages. We started to research the different nature of Preston’s districts to get a feel for

The PVC was a resource we had identified previously as a potential resource and project partner. The PVC primarily trains young people in carpentry, brickwork, plastering and decorating, but also offers training to asylum seekers and other groups at its centre in Deepdale. We saw the CGA as a valuable part of any CGA-linked building strategy. 6

the area in which the CGA’s tenants & members where living, and the varied demographics. From our initial presentation we felt strongly that, although increasing the visibility of the CGA was important, delivering a oneoff event,structure, or art-work, would not necessarily have a lead to greater involvement or empowerment. Our focus was on a series of built

interventions (at a scale to be decided) that would bring together existing individuals and organisations, strengthen existing networks, and make new connections. We looked, with the steering group, at a number of examples of projects we felt to be relevant, and these are shown on the following pages. Following our initial presentation we met with staff at Preston Vocational Centre.

Precedents and Strategies


Precedent #1 /Barking Town Square ‘Folly Wall’, MUF architects, 2008 Built as screen to This was felt to be See also: hide the loading bay an imaginative and of a supermarket, the intriguing object, Dace Road by MUF Folly Wall creates as it resembles (working with apprentices to the fourth side to a fragment of a the new town square historical building create small urban in Barking. and captured the interventions) imagination of the Theatre students, group. Festival of Toil older people from Dinner / Ruskin Square by MUF a local lunchWe felt that this club and apprentice was a particularly (making cutlery for bricklayers all strong example of a shared meal event) contributed to the link between people http://www.muf.co.uk/portfolio/ design and build of learning trades, dace-road-2011 the structure. local knowledge and http://www.muf.co.uk/portfolio/ design input to ruskin-square-art-strategy create better public http://www.muf.co.uk/portfolio/ realm barking-town-square-2


Precedent #2 /Granby Four Streets - , Assemble, 2015 Assemble worked with for purchase online” We felt that this Granby Four Streets, all using waste was not only a a small area in materials. strong model for Toxteth, Liverpool a collective to create a bottomregeneration model, up and community but that there was centered regeneration an interesting angle model. on the continued production of placeFollowing their specific objects nomination for, that might allow and winning of the for training 2015 Turner Prize, and employment Assemble set up the opportunities, and Granby Workshop – income. using a crowdfunding See also: model, the Granby Triangle Chairs by Workshop created a Assemble number of “locally http://assemblestudio.co.uk/ sourced, designed and assembled http://www.granby4streetsclt. co.uk/ homewares available


Precedent #3 /Rainham Village Masterplan -East,2011+ works by others Interventions at We felt that this scales from edible was an example planting, seating of how small, and new shop signage easily achievable to sculpture, a new interventions can library and elevated make a difference, walkway have been but also of how used to collectively these may lead in create a new sense time to increasingly of identity to this substantial changes village in Essex. to an area, led by residents able to see that their input can lead to change.


Precedent #4 /Clay Oven Artists Sally Labern Bobby Lloyd built a mobile clay oven together with volunteer families on a London council estate. The oven was then used my families to cook culturally specific dishes and share these in a community cookbook. Food was a focus of the project -as something common to everyone, and as a way of bringing people together and sharing.

- , The Drawing Shed, 2010 Many in the steering can be fairly simple, group were excited or as technically by the prospect of a advanced as required. mobile food-producing See also: resource, be this to Twitter on the Drive make pies, or Preston Two, 2011 Labern & Pizzas, seeing the Lloyd potential to engage (using print-making people of all ages. workshops to create new positive signage There was discussion and graphics) of how something like http://www.thedrawingshed.org/ this might travel to the-top-boy-bakers-summer-2013 events, or become adopted in specific http://www.thedrawingshed.org/ areas as test for a twitter-on-the-drive-one-2 longer term business in an empty building for example. There is an element of construction that


Precedent #5 /The People’s Canopy - People’s Architecture Office,2015 A set of mobile These are an expandable red example of the ‘bigcanopies, used statement’ and an previously in Preston eye-catching element to provide both that might attract spectacle and shelter people to a big for events, and now event. stored at the Preston Vocational Centre. A beautiful and practical design in many ways, and currently stored at the PVC. There is an opportunity to repair & link these to new events, either as shelters individually, or all together. 12

Strategy Diagrams Following our exploration of precedents we presented some outline strategies, tying to themes of the precedents, to show how a series of interventions might work. We initially looked at how small scale interventions may come about. We felt that there was the potential to then mass-produce objects to create a product stream that may generate income,

shown in the example overleaf, as the ‘Deepdale Bench’.

1. Area walkabout, discuss opportunities and issues. Create links/share knowledge. 2. Design workshops between UCLAN design students, local residents and PVC trainees to come up with intervention. Link local knowledge/ need, strong design aspiration and technical skills. 3. Building/ installation on site. Generate interest, get others ionvolved in this/future works.



Design Concept

2. Design workshops between UCLAN design students, and PVC trainees Link strong design aspiration and technical skills. 3. Objects made. 4. Object range sold. Training in marketing/selling etc. 5. Shop required with public footfall link to programmes to re-use empty premises.


Revitalise dead areas, provide employment for elderly, or greater social connections.

We explored how smaller objects or structures designed for local areas might be brought together in the centre of town for a larger event, and then return to the respective neighbourhoods.

Our initial ideas generated a number of suggestions from the steering group. It was agreed that we would visit some of the areas currently under-represented within the GTC, namely St.Matthews and Fishwick, and use a walkround, or ‘expedition’ to look at some of the problems and potential within these areas, to enable us to map some of the suggestions onto real places.


We explored the idea that site-specific structures could be developed in a number of areas, allowing specific issues, or locations to be designed for. These might form installations along a new route, linking CGA areas for example.


We looked at how larger scale interventions may come about, potentially after a first round of smaller objects, or in places that better lend themselves.

Working on larger structures may give both UCLAN students and PVC trainees the chance to realise much more ambitious work, as well as creating links with other organisations, such as materials suppliers and contractors.



Expeditions - St.Matthews and Fishwick


Expeditions Our very wet tour of St.Matthews and Fishwick took us around the Poets Estate and Delaware, to Miller Road and Ribbleton Park, and after a famous pie, back to Fishwick. In St.Matthews, we noted a number of fenced-off grassed areas next to housing that couldn’t access or enjoy these; the way that many estates are self-contained, but also lacking in their own facilities or shops; the importance of cafes


such as the one on Miller Road as local hubs, especially in the absence of other facilities; Ribbleton Park as both a citywide meeting point for football teams (although this is in decline) but also as an area that has a reputation for danger and the urban, but low-density nature of much of this area.

We wondered if we could... Use cafes to exhibit ideas for change? Make mobile piewagons? Build a playground for a week to test a space? Set up inter-estate football tournaments? Start food-growing in empty greenspaces?


Expeditions Fishwick was mainly experienced from inside a car as the rain continued unabated. We drove around the Callon Estate, again a homogenous mix of house types, and an estate that has its fair share of trouble with CCTV cameras installed and removed again; moving just beyond the estate we found the Recreation Ground, with BMX track and evidence of regular family activities. The park links closely to the


large natural spaces around Preston, and the Guild Wheel, a 21 mile walking/cycle route around Preston was discussed.

We wondered if we could... Develop a unique Preston pizza & pie hybrid? Connect outlying greenspaces more closely to estates/ urban areas? Build a jam-making vehicle to harvest/ make/distribute as a way of connecting tenants to greenspace and each other?



Expeditions - The North East & The Lines


Expeditions Dreading more torrential rain, but better prepared, we set off with CGA’s Lisa, GTC member Alan, and Dan & Ed to explore the NorthEast CGA areas. We started at Brookfield and Ambleside, struck by the way that these estates end at a wooded river valley connecting back to the city and wellused by walkers and children; we moved to Longridge, home of the ‘tin-houses’ -prefabs, some of


which have recently been insulated, and bordering the M6; down to Grange, again bordering lush natural area, and home to a welltended community allotment and bike recycling & repair centre - a community hub that is starting to be visited more we were told; on to Burnslack, Little Brookfield and Greenlands, and then to Moor Nook with its community centre and allotments;a look around Grange Park, with its’s historic

ruins, strangely added to in recent years and then back to base. We were struck by instances of playgrounds removed due to bad behaviour of local youth, and community centres removed and wondered if these could be places of new opportunity. Again famous pies and chips on the way.


Expeditions We wondered if we could... Use the bike workshop to build a mobile pizza-oven/jam machine/pie-mobile? Deliver produce from the allotment to the Grange...and beyond? Link the estates through the adjacent green-spaces...an inner Preston Green Wheel? Build follys, watchtowers, look-out posts?


Use the bike workshop to repair the people’s canopy? Make more branded benches like that at Moor Nook community centre? Have a build-your own racing vehicle session, with a race between areas?


Expeditions We started our journey along The Lines at Longridge, where the lines crosses the M6, and made our way into town/ Initially wellpaved, lit and wide, the path was quiet and not overlooked, with fruit bushes at the start. As we neared Deepdale, the path stopped abruptly at a large Morrisons, and we climbed through gaps in the fence, picking our way through rubbishstrewn undergrowth and emerging through a large pile of


rubbish and car-yard into Deepdale. Here the tracks themselves are visible in the road, and, as we moved through the tight urban terraces of Deepdale we could only glimpse the Lines as tree-filled route down below road level with no sign of access, but signs that people had been along it. The Lines run through a long, alledgedly haunted tunnel before emerging, and ending near the University, in an open and well lit section of track.

We wondered if we could... Use the lines as a connecting route between areas, and highlight the closed end? Make new ‘lines’ connecting different areas, with installations or events along them?





Proposals Workshop Our final visit to Preston was to meet the steering group again, and take them on our tour of the area, through the photos we had taken. We discussed the areas that they lived in and started to build a picture of the spaces between the areas we had investigated, as well as some of the issues that mattered to them. Our final task with the steering group was a quick ideas workshop using cut-outs of the


precedent ideas we had initially shown, along with some supplementary images. As a group we quickly created pairings of objects and locations to create one set of possible interventions. Some of these have been made into posters as prompts for action. Before leaving, a final meeting with the Preston Vocation Centre confirmed their enthusiasm to link to the project and build on their existing community programmes.

The group generated a range of proposals and we have used the materials produced in the workshop to create a series of posters, which will acts as prompts and provocations throughout Preston. These, we hope will start a conversation about what might happen, and what is possible, and two are included in this document.



Next Steps


Next Steps Over the course of our four visits, our explorations, meetings and conversations had helped us to develop the initial thoughts we had, and we end the report with some outline proposals that have come out of this process, generated primarily by the steering group. We have set these out in three groups: geographical; mobile/ small scale and mobile/large scale. All of these elements

Funding would be sought ahead of these structures being built, or events taking place in summer 2017, with an emphasis of volunteer labour or work forming part of Uni courses, or PVC training. PVC’s links with construction companies would be followed up, to assist with materials, but an emphasis on the creative re-use of waste materials would be a priority. 38

have some cross-over. We would stress that in the time available to us, we only explored part of Preston and the CGA areas in the North East and South East of the city, using these areas as case studies for a wider strategy. In each set out design, operate

case we have who might build and these.

In all cases we have suggested that students from UCLAN

take on the role of designer, and they and PVC attendees build and deliver the structures, with Studio Polpo, or a similar organisation chosen by CGA coordinating this. Timescale and linking to appropriate courses subject to confirmation by both UCLAN and the PVC.

Geographical The estates we visited we nearly all bordered by semi-wild parkland, woodland, or more maintained green-space. These, along with connecting routes such as The Lines and the Guild Wheel provide an amazing natural resource for these areas. Locating events or structures within them may acts to bring together residents of otherwise selfcontained areas, these maybe being

seen as more neutral. These spaces offer opportunities for seeing wildlife, more adventurous play,free food and escapism. Linking structures, or events along a circular or linear route may be a strategy to connect and engage with a cross section of Preston, and CGA residents.

EXAMPLE: Mobile structure built with help of the Grange’s bike repair workshop harvests fruit along a circular green route and makes jam, popping out at various locations on its way to the centre. Adaptable seasonally for different produce. Design: UCLAN/PVC Build: PVC/Bike Wokshop Activation: Preston/CGA


Mobile/Small There are existing institutions, small businesses and resources in every Preston location, and there are long established and new networks of skills and people. Using a mobile structure to create a temporary ‘satellite version’ of existing business, b ethey pie shops or garages, helps celebrate what is there.


EXAMPLE: Bike-trailer mounted pizza-oven workshop, built with help of the Grange’s bike repair workshop and PVC. Trailer visits a number of locations where pizza/pie ovens are built. Local shops link in with ingredients, people connect with recipes, weekend festival of Preston pies/pizzas with legacy of functioning community-built oven and recipes. Potentially leading to permanent housing of this facility, or

new food space. Design: UCLAN/PVC Build: PVC/Bike Wokshop Activation: Preston/CGA

Mobile/Large Each area has a distinct character, and a range of specific spaces. In our final workshop, the steering group tested combinations of structures and spaces - birdwatching hides, pigeon lofts, play frames, dogwalker’s shelters and lookout points/steps. These would enable teams of residents to work with designers and makers (who themselves may live in the area in question). Mobile/ large would refer

objects that would be demountable, allowing them to be brought together for a festival, or event in a park, or city centre, but returned to a specific place. The mobile nature of these might allow different uses to be tested on a shortterm basis in empty spaces - for example closed playgrounds, clearance sites, empty premises.

EXAMPLE: 10 Stations Along The Lines, a series of lookout points, picnic spots, or access stairs/ramps at key points along the lines, drawing attention to the route. Designed to fit together to create a large structure somewhere more dramatic..the roof of the bus station for example! Design: UCLAN/PVC Build: PVC/UCLAN Activation: Preston/CGA



Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.