[re]create Blackburn

Recreate-Blackburn-1 Recreate-Blackburn-2 Recreate-Blackburn-3Blackburn, UK, 2013.

The University of Sheffield.

This project aims to build upon Blackburn’s existing creative town plan, exploring the role that arts and creative industries could play in rejuvenating the town centre. Utilising a base in an empty shop off the town square, we opened up the doors and ask people to participate in several activities. The process and outputs from our collaborations formed the basis of our strategic designs. We created three strategies at different scales that encompass the introduction of digital fabrication technology, facilitating enterprises and reinforcing connections with Blackburn’s strong industrial history.

SMALL – the Blackburn bandwagon; a small flexible cart fabricated in the ‘Fab Lab’ that can support various activities including pop-up retail, exhibitions and events.
MEDIUM – [re] connect the museum with the ‘Fab Lab’
LARGE –The ‘makers trail’, an urban strategy of way-finding for community engagement and marketing; using the ‘Fab Lab’ to create routes to the museum, ‘Fab lab’ and other cultural landmarks

All three scales of design are intended to work together with the councils twelve point plan to promote design and the creative industries in Blackburn, reinvigorating the town centre as a destination with a depth of appeal beyond the retail model.

Participant Names
Clients: Claire Tymon, Blackburn with Darwen Council

Students: Holly Barker, Ellie Croxford, Becky Randall, Tom Walker, Alex Mills, Connor Cunningham, Bonnie Wong, Samya Kako, Jing Xiang Tan, WenHao He, Wei Guo, Zou Wei, Yang Zhou, Guangning Wang

Mentor: Carolyn Butterworth

Research Question
How can arts and creative industries contribute to the rejuvenation of Blackburn town centre?


Architecture, Days, Client-funded, 11-50, +, Temporary, Postgraduate, Analytical, Propositional, Collaboration, Curricular, Blackburn, Students with tutor, Sheffield Univ.