Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Agenda: 24th February 2009-02-24

Apologies: MP, LP, RW, HE, TS, PR

1. Minutes of last meeting

2. Blog

2.1 Use of Blog
2.2 Promotion of Blog utilising CAP Sites
2.3 Promotion of Blog: Other

3. Lloyds Corner

3.1 Feedback on meeting with Councillor and Dave Whitfield
3.2 Section 106 funding vs. other funding sources
3.3 Writing outline brief prior to meeting officers
3.4 Writing of detailed brief and Lloyds Corner Client Group
3.5 Information we still require or might desire

4. AOB

5. Next Meeting

how other people are doing it- london

Campaign posters

Map above and text from design Workshop

Making a documentary of a place is not a neutral
activity and requires critical decision making about
what is recorded and what is not.
The workshop participants were asked to
document what was special about Wards Corner
as a means to explaining this to someone who
does not know the area and be able to develop a
vision and proposals that build on these existing
As a first step the workshop participants were
shown examples of a number of successful
ways of documenting places as a means of
demonstrating how similar techniques could be
used when visiting the Wards Corner site.


Monday, 23 February 2009

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Action Group is tomorrow, Tuesday 24th February at 6pm at the Old Junior School. We will be developing the brief for Lloyds Corner.

I look forward to seeing you there

Lloyds Corner- Signpost requests

Some memebers of the action group- (primarily JC! thank you!) stopped people and asked them if they though it would be a suitable location for some way finding signage and if so, where would they signpost? the following were suggested...

Minutes: Welcome to Sharrow Signpost Project

Signposts Meeting 27th January 2009
Present: Jean Cromar, Catherine Crompton, Ryan Morley, Mark Rufus, Nicola Hudson, Julia Udall
Apologies: Dave Whitfield, Mel Pearson

The minutes of this meeting have now been removed. Please contact the action group at sharrow_action@hotmail.com if you would like a copy of these minutes

Lloyds Corner: Service Runs

The map below shows the lines of the services that run below lloyds corner; please click on the image to enlarge. The original information from the service providers is copywrited but I have a copy at SCF if you need more details.

Lloyds Corner- Movement Mapping

Map 1. 12.00-12.30pm

Map 2. 12.30pm-1.30pm

Map 3. 1.30-2.00pm

The following maps show the movement of people on the day of the event during each of the four events: Crazy paving, Street Art, Game Zone and Urban Oasis. The red lines mark where people walked and the blue crosses where poeple stood. The objects we placed into space are also drawn.

Please click on the image to enlarge

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A very intertesting project...


TASKS: JMU/ MP Feedback from the Lloyds Corner Event

1. What was successful about the making event and What could be improved?

It was good to all be doing something in a room together, the process allowed us to have a think about what it was we wished to achieve.

I think the weaknesses were that we needed to plan what we were making before hand and be clear as to what we were bringing along and to have designed the objects beforehand so they looked more professional / were an appropriate scale/ made the impact we desired. It was suggested that we use the blog to have this conversation about what we would make, what materials we needed and who would do what but this was not an effective tool in this circumstance as no one used it; perhaps a meeting finalising a list of things and assigning tasks would have been useful in this case.

I think it is a balance however between people feeling that this group becomes too onerous in terms of commitment and making sure we achieve what we set out to do. Please give me feedback in this respect.

2. What was successful about the Lloyds corner event and what could be improved?

The event was very visible, people had detailed conversations about specific ideas rather than generalised ones, and we monitored movement through the site.

It is worth keeping in mind that:
i. Some of the more successful ideas may have been popular because they were good engagement techniques, not necessarily because they are right for the site.
ii. we have only gathered info from one time of day, day of the week and two months of the year (both cold!)

3. What key things did you learn from the event that could inform the brief?

i. That an intervention which has in built flexibility/ provides a space for people to hold events or play would be popular. People would like to see lots of different things happening here and to be able to make their own mark. (it was key on the route of The Chinese New Year Dragon for example and could also be important for the Lantern Carnival.)

ii. That the routes through the site are important and must be kept clear.

iii. Signposting here would be popular and useful and could be a way of promoting the things that Sharrow has to offer such as Mount Pleasant Park, the Mosque, Stag Works, Bramall Lane, the library, etc etc

4. How could we publicise the blog more widely?

Posters in local shops could be a good way to do so and I have made some initial enquiries about linking this in with other information that is going out to shops along London road and Abbeydale Road- I will keep you updated on this.

If anyone fancies either designing a flyer or writing a line or two for the flyer explaining who we are/ what we do that would be great…

5. What information are we currently missing that we need to inform the development of the brief for the site? ( I am currently compiling technical information from officers etc about the services, listing of the lamppost and streetforce/ highways)

I will arrange a meeting with highways, planning and the landscape architect who deals with section 106 allocation in order to fill out the gaps in our knowledge. However we need an outline brief and our research collated prior to this. This should be the key aim of our next meeting.

MP Feedback

Making session:
This was fun but I thought severely limited in terms of where we did it – having little access to water for instance for washing and cleaning was a real pain - also materials, would have been much easier to use a wooden floor (or have a tarpaulin!) I know I could have brought more stuff like that but had not known what to expect.
Also, we did forget stuff to take to the event (the painted “planters”) -needed a check list of what we had made or brought beforehand to take to the actual event.

A good event in terms of people’s energy, though.

The Event
Coloured stepping stones, hopscotch, dance steps –these are what I noticed people of all ages really getting into – quite spontaneously and with no need for them to be explained or signposted.
Choreography of moving through these different kinds of pavement “interventions” – could be used by anyone including physically /visually impaired.
So the way people enjoyed being led or entertained as they travel through the area was the main thing I noticed, and as a result I think that some kind of pathway design would probably be the most effective and economical use of the space.

Freee CollectiveAdvertising For All; Or For Nobody At All

Below is something i saw which grabbed my attention- and may be intertesing for our approach to lloyds corner? please post responses/ other ideas!
Reclaim Public Opinion, Advertising For All; Or For Nobody At All

Reclaim Public Opinion, is a new work by the Freee art collective, commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts for the cafe/bar. The Freee art collective have produced a billboard poster that calls for advertising to be employed by everyone in order to affect and change public opinion. Freee believe that the radical response to advertising is not to obliterate it or to reform it but to hand it over to dissenters and agents of counter-hegemony.

This work is an attempt to imagine advertising as available to everyone, not an industry monopolized by big business. The image carries a slogan but it also carries an implicit message: everyone is or can be a guerilla advertiser.
Advertising For All; Or For Nobody At All; Reclaim Public Opinion is the latest work in Freee’s campaign of counter-advertising, which includes:
Advertising Wants To Covert Our Desire For A Better Life Into A Desire To Buy Something
Advertising Wants You To Think That Detergent Is Revolutionary,
All The Public Spaces Ripe For Dissent Have Been Colonized By Advertising,
We Demand TV Ads At Prime Time For All Striking Workers

meeting minutes: 10th february 2009

Action Group Minutes 10th February 2009-02-18

Attendance: RW, CC, LP, JU

Apologies: JC, CM, T&H, MP, PR

The minutes of this meeting have now been removed. Please contact the action group at sharrow_action@hotmail.com if you would like a copy of these minutes

Monday, 16 February 2009

useful ideas...


this blog details other action throughout europe that may be useful to learn about...

Rave Against Racism: From P.A.


Jamie 'Headcharge' contacted me asking if the Rave Against Racism logo could be incorporated into designs for the London Rd flags project - I said Id see what people thought and get back to him.
Attached is the logo I think we could incorporate the logo, but am wary of what this might open up - ie. Do we then promote other community/asctivist groups, organisations? Appreciate your responses - and I will reply to Jamie.

Comments please? Thanks

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Tasks Feedback: LP

Lloyds Corner event 24/01/09
LP feedback 11/02/09

Making session and preparation
· Great fun, a good way to know the members of the group better and most of the things worked to bring life and colour to the Lloyds corner.
· Would have been useful to make a quick assessment on how appropriate what we were making was for the site (Lloyds Corner). This might include microclimate factor, size of objects…etc.
· The need for more preparation was demonstrated with the last scene: ‘the urban Oasis’. A more thorough preparation could have avoided missing the sunflower s and the flower pots (the boys were very disappointed about this) and make the trees exercise more efficient. For example a sandwich board on the ‘people tree’ inviting people to position them where they would have like to see a tree planted.
· Check other events in the area; at the end it did clash with the Chinese New Year event but could have been integrated if we would have known.
The event
· Again great fun even in the cold
· Lots of interesting chat with people and quite an impact (several people mentioned they saw us and wanted to know more about it)
· Great photos to publicise the action group and the project
· More people involved might have helped to catch more people passing by?

Feedback from conversation with people on site and people who saw us while driving and personal observations:
· Combination of ideas rather than only one theme. E.g. play/art and vegetation; vegetation and paving…etc.
· Something visible from driving cars and buses as they are also users of the space
· People with children interacted much more as the children naturally/spontaneously engaged with the activities (dancing/drawings) and dragged their parents along. Could be part of the brief, think about the children first the parents will follow.
· The lady who played hop scotch (sorry if it is the wrong spelling) clearly enjoyed doing something from her youth; maybe something related to the history of the place linked with the lamp post might be appropriate? (Julia mentioned a photograph of Queen Victoria on London Road, it could be displayed on the chemist window)
· It is clearly a space people pass by on their way somewhere rather than a destination. A new intervention should not impede people’s movement.
· There was some respect shown, trying to avoid to walk on the children drawings on the pavement , which is very encouraging, especially if some temporary/more fragile structures/interventions are proposed.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Distinctive Sharrow Action Group: Tasks!

Please spend a few minutes and bullet point one or two ideas in response to the following:

1. What was sucessful about the lloyds corner event and the making event?
2. What could be improved?
3. What key things did you learn from the event that could inform the brief?
4. How could we publicise the blog more widely?
5. What information are we currently missing that we need to inform the development of the brief for the site? ( I am currently compiling technical information from officers etc about the srvices, listing of the lamppost and streetforce/ highways)

I will then post everyones feedback on the blog...

The next meeting is schedule for Tuesday 24th February at 6pm

Monday, 9 February 2009

Building Exploratory Proposals: Dec 08

The Building Exploratory Project

What are the aims of this project?
The aim of this project is to physically ‘map’ and test the findings of the Distinctive Sharrow Project into Sharrow, including creating a ‘building exploratory’ as a temporary part of the social infrastructure.

This Distinctive Sharrow Project, which is run by Sharrow Community Forum, aims to enhance Sharrow’s social, cultural, economic and tourism contribution to Sheffield. The lasting ambition of the project is to produce a strategy that can be acted on within the council; by creating the building exploratory we can make this truly transformative by creating a way for local people to lead action in Sharrow.

What am I proposing and why?
I am proposing the creation of a 6 month ‘Building Exploratory’, within a shop unit, as a point of access for local people into developments in the built environment within Sharrow. The role of the exploratory is to provide a shared space for the on-going negotiation of the neighbourhood; in terms of its built environment, spaces, identity and social and physical connections. Speaking about socially engaged and site specific art practice, art theorist Miwon Kwon suggests that there is not a fixed notion of ‘community’ in need of outreach, but one which must be created for each issue, each ‘thing’ and matter of concern. This is our aim through creating the exploratory in Sharrow.

How would we use the Building Exploratory?
I propose that through using this space as a base for creating small-scale interventions and events in public space based on mappings produced as part of the Distinctive Sharrow project, those choosing to participate can actively test the reports’ findings rather than being merely ‘consulted’ on them. The occupation and curation of space as a collective process reveals desires and tensions within a group; an event could be characterised as an opportunity to take off on a new path, responding to the dynamic nature of the area.

In contrast to office based consultation, I have found that this performative methodology is often seen by participants as unreal or fantastical and therefore an escape from pragmatic concerns, generating a sense of freedom and play and ultimately more creative responses. The manner in which an event will go on to inform the architectural process is often oblique and so people are less inclined to feel that there are expected to respond in a certain ‘correct’ way. It has been clear in the first exploratory I have run that through using these more ‘active’ techniques the boundaries between the professional or specialist and the user or client can be broken down, as each is an actor within an event; roles and hierarchies can be blurred, undermined or inverted.
The McAslan Bursary would allow us to take over a prominent shop unit, adjacent to the Lansdowne Estate, for a number of months. The shop front itself would allow us to have a street presence where activity is visible from outside and also a base for operations that go out to other places in Sharrow to create workshops and events. The benefit of this is that the continuity of reusing a venue that has been used by a relational art practice, ‘‘encounters1’, would allow us to contact the people who worked with them and living on the economically deprived and often socially isolated Lansdowne Estate. Occupying the shop over a period of months allows the exploratory to become part of the landscape of Sharrow and those who may not initially, to become comfortable with entering.

I carried out a week long trial of the building exploratory format, held in January of this year. This was very sucessful and included a 3-D building kit, displays and mapping projects and invited residents, businesses, councillors, developers, local people, activists and others to draw, write, discuss, design and build, either on to maps, proposals, or on a blank piece of wall or floor. The manner in which it was collected allowed each type of knowledge to be added directly to either the urban design or identity aspects of the Distinctive Sharrow proposals. There is now a great opportunity to take this a step further by placing these design proposals into Sharrow.
1. http://www.wearencounters.org.uk/shops.htm
Encounters took over a shop unit for their relational art practice and collected stories from local residents of the Lansdowne Estate.

Examples of proposed projects
The Distinctive Sharrow mappings have suggested the following interventions could be made in public space in Sharrow:

Locations for signage: tested through a temporary, playful (and perhaps humorous!) signage project to mark important routes and encourage greater footfall around the area.
Opportunity sites for temporary occupation: tested through a week long series of events such as an art market, free-cycle type market exchange, or temporary cinema with some physical temporary infrastructure. This can create shared spaces without thresholds that are informal and not commercially driven.

Areas for shop front renovation: tested through businesses and artists working together to creatively paint shop fronts. This should also respond to the identity of shops in the area.
Routes that need improvement: tested through temporary art trail linking places together.
Important meeting points: tested through the placement of temporary seating or canopies.
Which of these projects are selected and who facilitates them will require detailed development to ensure their maximum impact and feasibility.

The theoretical approach to the Building Exploratory

The theoretical background of the project stems from my dissertation research completed in 2006 and titled Architecture by Other Means, Instances of Representation and Participation, which received a High Commendation at the RIBA Presidents Medals in 2007. This bursary would enable me to develop this research and I would hope to write an article on the processes and outcomes of this project. This is something which I have already started in the Urban Act/ PEPRAV2, which details the earlier stages of Distinctive Sharrow and the thinking behind it.
A series of tools devised to promote action and interaction were developed during research into alternative architectural practice in my final year in the Live Project named IYO3. These methodologies, of which the exploratory is one, have been deemed critical because of the power they have to address particular representative concerns and aspects of space and place that may not be contained within conventional forms, locations or processes. The architect, who often occupies a privileged position, should use each form of representation with awareness of its particular potential; where it locates the discussion, who is invited to participate and under what terms.

What is Distinctive Sharrow and how is it structured?
Distinctive Sharrow is the strategic design and mapping of small and large-scale interventions and opportunities in a manner that unites the many projects, initiatives and understandings of the area. This can then be used to:
i. Liaise with the council, developers and stakeholders to push for longer-term larger-scale changes such as the development of ground floor retail units as workshop space, shared space along the main road of the district centre and physical improvements to connections between Sharrow and the City Centre.
ii. Work with the Sharrow Community Artists Network, Public Art Officer Andrew Skelton and local people to create a series of small briefs for permanent public art projects and streetscene improvements. The funding would be sourced through initiatives such as % for art, section 106 open space allocation, Neighbourhood Management funding and working with local businesses.
Over the past two years, research for this project has been gathered from conversations with local people, a Joseph Rowntree report, the Encounters’ Lansdowne Report, The Bond Bryan vision study, ‘Hello Sharrow’ community events, Civic Regeneration research into Culture, Leisure and Tourism and work with the Distinctive Sharrow Steering Group comprising of local stakeholders, agencies and the council.
2. PEPRAV Urban Act, Montrouge, France 2007.
3. This Project, which was funded by the European Union’s Commision Culture Programnme as part of the PEPRAV Platform for alternative Urban Action is documented in PEPRAV Urban Act, Montrouge, France 2007. Image: The publication

Who are Sharrow Community Forum and why are we engaged with this organisation?
"Sharrow Community Forum helps groups and individuals in Sharrow to make Sharrow a better place to live and work. We support local people to be part of decisions that affect their lives and work to promote equality for all sectors of the community. We are a team of Workers supported by a Board of Trustees, many of whom are Sharrow residents with experience in Community Development"
My involvement with the project began during a Sheffield University ‘Live Project’ which ran during the first year of my M Arch course in which a group of ten year 5 and year 6 students worked on a ‘real’ brief from Sharrow Community Forum. This fed into a document that concluded that small-scale interventions in the area, led by local people exploring their desires could be a catalyst for change. Since then I have become part of the Distinctive Sharrow Steering group and am currently employed for fourteen hours a week by the forum. I am also employed by Birkett Cole Lowe Architects.

Why do I think that it is achievable?
Sharrow Community Forum is an umbrella organisation and through the Distinctive Sharrow project we have been working with and have the support and expertise of a broad range of agencies and organisations, including Sheffield City Council, Sharrow Artists Network, Little Sheffield Development Trusts, The Sharrow Partnership and the Civic Trust. There is a strong desire and support to see a physical manifestation of the ideas and knowledge that has been gathered over the past two years. The building exploratory is an opportunity to link these agenices, local people and activists to achieve transformative change in Sharrow.