People Place Product – Crafting Communities in Brighton City 2012

People Place Product – Crafting Communities in Brighton City

The main aim for our project was to demonstrate to our students, staff and partners and the wider public the value of collaboration through design to address diverse issues of sustainability; socially, economically and environmentally.

Our ‘On Our Doorsteps’ project aimed to ‘remap’ Brighton in terms of University and community relations by undertaking a ‘mini-festival’ of partnership engagements and productive, creative events across the city. Each of the distinct collaborative projects and participatory events used co-design methods to engage participants from diverse neighbouring communities, age ranges and social profiles in the creation of products.

The products formed are cultural objects, totems and souvenirs, which celebrate and communicate the value of collaboration with the University. They also respond to the need for opportunities for economic development, sustainability and social cohesion identified in partners individual mission statements and against contextual social, economic and environmental pressures.

Over 10 partner organisations worked with staff and students from the 3D Design and Crafts programme in forming new communities of benefit locally, building on a history of exemplar community projects this course has routinely provided through its innovative and acclaimed community and sustainable practices.

Collaborative partnership events culminated in a ‘showcase during the Brighton City Arts Festival, followed by exhibition at the Faculty of Arts Graduate show and then on to the International London Design Festival.

Projects were mapped across the cityscape via an accessible website, providing a long-term platform for ongoing partnership network in future years. Each event aimed to engage neighbouring communities in immediate proximity to a number of University Campuses and resulted in very different experiences and new relationships, based on identified need, which will forge a legacy of long-term mutual benefit and progressive opportunity.

Project Partners

• City Wildlife Trust & Park Rangers

• Purl Knitting Circle & Shop, ‘Build Brighton’ Charity

• American Express

• Brighton Toy Museum

• Mouslecoomb Primary School

• Brighton Community Compost

• The Level Restoration Project

• Brighton & Hove City Council

• Brighton Language School.

Please contact Nick Gant - for further information