University of the West of England
How can architecture students actively participate in a community to bridge the gap between small businesses, the local community and their urban environment? This project developed in response to engagement with the Bedminster Town Team’s Portas Pilot project to regenerate Bedminster’s High Streets. Students took part in several community consultations as well as engaging with local community groups, focus groups and community exhibits. The project engaged students with ‘hard to reach’ members of the community. An outreach event held in a ‘pop-up’ shop welcomed homeless people from the next-door shelter, elderly people who were happy to chat, parents on their way home from collecting their kids from school and many others who would not otherwise have had a voice.
In response the students developed a range of design proposals aim to engage the community in creating better places which will help revitalise the high street. Many of these proposals were self-build, (almost) zero-budget solutions. The projects range from self-built pocket parks, light installations, densification proposals, community cinema, recycling clothes shop, community art interventions and greening the high street. The work has been exhibited on the high street, the Bedminster swimming pool and will be in the Bristol Architecture Centre.
Clients: Bedminster Town Team, represented by Ben Barker and George Grace
Tutors: Rachel Sara and Elena Marco
Students: Year 1 Master of Architecture students: Elizabeth Apap-Bologna, Hester Au-Yeung, Dami Babalola, Abigail Baggley, Samuel Bello, Charlotte Bush, Simon Clements, Dan Courtney, Suzy Crabtree-Condor, Thomas Froggatt, Shivam Garg, Danny Harris, Al Jarratt, Daniel Jones, Aikaterini Karachaliou, Jason Keswick, Adam Kingston, Victor Martos, Emma McDermott, Flora Moraiti, Sara Neuberg, Sotiria Panagi, Thomas Paxton, Kye Pitman, James Reed, Ioannis Sakkis, Stacey Smith, Daniel Stiff, Vaidas Vileikis, Andrew Walker, Sally Wylde
Research Question: How can architecture students actively participate in a community to empower small businesses and hard to reach members of the local community to affect their urban environment?