About Arch

... An exploration of participation, art and architecture in the city to inform a concept for engagement with the local community via artistic intervention... offering to our client a point of departure for the continuation of these ideas in their future work.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Minutes 28.10.08

28.10.08 – Group Meeting Minutes

10:15am in Studio
Present: Jen/ Tori/ Julie/ Carolyn
Apologies from engagement + construction teams – out and about engaging and constructing.
Apologies from Kris – options module clash mon-wed this week and next.

Overview - Brief meeting to update Carolyn following Monday’s group meeting – group ran through ground covered and main outcomes and conclusions. Explained idea of a Friday/Monday/Friday ‘layering’ of performances, in order to build upon existing information, research and material. Carolyn agreed that this was a positive and logical approach, and the event would be an opportunity to showcase ideas and films to date, in a way that will not be possible at the final assessment.

Julie explained the three current subgroups to Carolyn (see minutes 27.10.08) – roles of each, and relationship between three.

Carolyn suggested contacting BBC Radio Sheffield for publicity; Sheffield Live was also mentioned. Importance of publicising next Monday’s event as quickly and widely as possible.

Public exhibition on monday - Persistence Works is looking likely for the final event – just waiting for final confirmation. Events team have viewed a couple of possible venues, and although this is the most expensive option, it is by far the most attractive. Suggested that team members contribute £10 or similar, then rest to be made up from budget (Trish agrees).

Timing of event – 7-9pm was planned – CB highlighted that this gives people the chance to leave work (and not come back into town). 6-8pm now proposed + agreed by group.

Carolyn raised the point that entering Persistence Works can seem uninviting to new visitors – maybe we address this by taking over the foyer etc? – to be discussed further by events + PW. Home make cake and tea looking likely (licensing problems with alcohol..?) – this could go in the foyer. Need to think about glasses + crockery. Cater for 100ish?

Events team to push getting out publicity asap, as soon as venue is confirmed.

Whole school event - Ran through idea for workshop based on Arch work and the Arts Tower – investigating memories of the tower and movement through the building using the paternoster as a tool. Carolyn agreed that the idea of installations in the lift and the bus stops are synonymous and that it would be an appropriate idea for the group to pursue. Provisionally next Thursday – group to discuss after the exhibition. Agreed that this should not be integrated with the final presentation.

(+ Pol/ Tilly/ Jonny)

Friday’s meeting – structures + engagement teams to provide rationalised information in order to produce a more choreographed piece w/dancers in collaboration with Simon (?). Schedule to be produced by events team based on info from s + e teams.
Structures – time constraints in building everything we want to build. Realistically will have to give a ‘flavour’ of the final scheme. Carolyn felt that the structures proposed were too ‘rigid’ and finished – if we accept we can’t build within the time period then we should be designing something which really pushes the boundaries.
Final design strategy – highlighted importance of reclaiming/recycling. Carolyn suggested we contact one of her sites for leftover materials etc – structures to pursue.

To Do
• Structures team to continue building and developing amazing final ideas
• Events team to continue sorting logistics of Monday, and draw up schedule for Friday. Also complete, email, print and distribute posters and invitations
• Engagement team to feed info to other teams to inform development
• Everyone to find as many people as possible to bring on Monday to make it a success!

Other Information - Please keep checking emails – bits of info are feeding in from suppliers + TO’S/SB all the time

Next Meeting – Wednesday 29th October @ 5.30pm (studio) - to run through progress since monday

Hans Hemmert

When I was shopping with the builder group searching for fabric yesterday, I kept thinking Hans Hemmert's latex artworks! They always make me laugh, though the original idea behind these artworks is about isolation and alienation.

Hope they light up your busy productive week! :)

Check out more: http://ingesidee.de/page.php?pgid=14&lang=en

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rotation Panels

Interactive structure I (2D version)

Interative structure II (3D version)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Minutes of Meeting 24-10-08

Meeting with Clients and Professional Dancers 24-10-08

10am in Sharrow Community Forum

Engagement techniques
Caroline Reese is fantastic knowledge source to be tapped in regard to making people participate within dance. It is a real skill in making people feel comfortable enough to join in. – They own bus stop just as much as we do. Instead of just ‘doing art’ at somebody, we need to really consider what is necessary to break down the boundaries.

- We’ve found from our week of research that often got more interaction from people about our installations when they didn’t realise that we were involved in it. Speaking to them about the intervention as a fellow outsider. Perhaps we can build on that by going ‘incognito,’ pretending to be someone ‘everyday’ waiting for bus in order to get stories.

We decided not to let people know who we were or what we were doing during the last week, creating more gorilla events. We believe that this worked well for what we were trying to investigate. People very early on started coming up to us and mentioning other bus shelter installations that they had seen. We felt we managed to create an identity through the events rather than through a name or image. Trish mentions, however that this afternoon and during the next week we may want to look at having signs saying who we are and what we are doing as this may well aid in the engagement of the public.

Trish mentions that often a good engagement technique is to ask as a specific question as possible. So instead of saying ‘tell us a memory of a journey you had’ ask ‘have you ever felt intimidated on a bus?’ or ‘how do you travel to meet the person you love?’

Installations within Shelter – discussion after viewing videos
However engagement doesn’t always need to be so direct, it can just be a piece of ‘art,’ such as leaving a sofa in a bus shelter. It’s all about giving someone a new view of their world, changing someone’s day.

The bus shelter itself is an interesting forum due to the feeling of liberation of action you get when in it - the protection that the context gives us. Similar to the ‘white cube’ art gallery concept. This provides difficulty in itself - when does movement go from everyday to ‘art.’

After watching video of man cleaning bus stop – When do you go from being a performer to being in the audience? Is there a way of creating a situation where people can from one role to the other within the timeframe of the piece?

Timeline of shelter – During the course of a day the shelter can go from being empty to being very busy to being empty again. Perhaps this in itself in a dance? We shouldn’t be scared of the shelter being empty, something very beautiful and sculptural about it.

We found that often the memories and stories that people did share with us were quite painful. Simon suggests that perhaps this is the case as it is the most prominent memory on their minds. Trish mentions that Sharrow is quite poor so often we may well hear painful and difficult stories and that she appreciates that it is often difficult not to react to them but to remain as a passive recorder of the memory. – It is suggested we look at the work of DV8 – Lloyd Neeson and how they/he worked with very painful stories in a beautiful but shocking way.

Discussion after afternoon collaboration
It is mentioned that perhaps the structures we produced this week weren’t necessary as yet within the project. That an intermediate step would have been just to take the dancers out to an empty bus shelter and see how they react within that environment. Some of the ideas that we wanted to examine could have been looked at by just using the structure of the shelter. For example –

- Turning bus timetable as adaption of structure.
- Playing with Perspex as if it were reflection etc.

After that we could have added additional things to engage with.

We found that some structures worked better than others as platforms for interesting performance. Both structures looking at framing and suspension worked well for the dancers, giving them plenty of material to work with. It was felt though that the framing was perhaps too much of an ‘art installation,’ cutting off the public from interacting.

Is there a way of producing the same effect but without creating such a barrier effect?
The two structures which looked at structure moving with body and body moving with structure had good theory behind them, but it was felt that in order to get the desired effect they require a lot more thought about materiality and construction. All worked well however in giving us a good base for further experimentation in the up-coming week.

Interestingly it was found that the ‘event’ that encouraged the most public engagement was the harness device when no dancers were actually using it. We must use this knowledge to discuss how to create installations which invite questions and interaction.

The dancers were asked whether having a public audience changed their performances in anyway? It was mentioned that the audience reacting to certain movements, by laughing for example, made them want to play up the comedic aspect more.

It is agreed that the overall thematic approach of all of our installations has been that of separation and connection and that this should help us to be more specific when attempting public engagement.


Issues of space
Simon asked whether there is a minimum space required for audience participation? It is suggested that perhaps the size of space is not the issue, but the subconscious barrier of embarrassment.

Possible future events/installations
Simon suggests the idea of having two or three people at a bus stop in ‘normal’ clothes waiting for a bus. Slowly but surely they start to move in rehearsed unison. This can be small, underground movement which suddenly emerges. This involves people in something special that would hopefully enrich their day.

Possibly something that can be looked at to do with the dancers next Friday?

Other ways of sharing stories – Perhaps using ipods/downloadable pre-recorded stories. Ring up telephone number to hear story about that bus shelter?

Exchanging memory. Ask everyone to turn up to an event (possibly final event?) with a memento or object which tells a story. You then swap and leave with someone else’s object.
It is agreed that we need to look over our past research, see what has worked and what hasn’t in terms of public engagement and expand on these ideas. Eg. Post-its, chalked-in footprints, curtains, postcards etc….

Final event/Upcoming week
Trish and Simon want the final outcome/strategy to be something that is ‘live,’ not something which is static and just toured around. A collection of techniques for engagement which can be used in many different towns can be used by Trish and Simon to collect memories and stories which will form the basis for dance performances.

How will the research we collect shape the thing built for the final event?

How best to showcase the memories and stories that have been collected?

- Projection (of text, image, other dance performances…?)
- Playing with shadow – structure out of shadow?
- Playing with scale – scale used to describe emotion?
- Framing of bodies?
- Structure moving dance, dance moving structure?

The dance performances will grow from a mixture of the research collected by our strategic bus shelter installations and as a reaction to the structure we design as a platform for the dance. The strategy for funding should also include information on who Trish and Simon would need to approach about getting permission to have slightly more permanent exhibitions in bus shelters.

These installations can be of any sort, ranging from built structures to post-it notes. Their raison d’être however must be as aids for engagement; encouraging people to leave stories and memories of public transport and journeys. They will also have another function, one of enlivening interest in the final dance performance that will be created. Hopefully they will aid in creating an audience for this piece.


- What will encourage people to come in?

Final structure
Would be good if it could pack away – Ikea, DIY set of constructional diagrams?
Should involve projection in some way – play with layers and shadow.
Include something that the dancers can suspend from. – suspension of time as well as ppl.
Include strong lighting in someway (again playing with shadow)
Should involve framing – can be very cinematic
Should involve mirroring in some way. (Would be fantastic if we could include a mirror which spins)

How is it constructed?
How does it travel?
How is it disassembled?

Overall it should be something which amplifies the ideas that have been collected to turn these into ‘performance.’

It is suggested that perhaps the structure can be something with a base frame that different structures can then be attached to, depending on the specific areas of interest Trish and Simon are looking at for one particular performance. – Something adaptable to the situation.
Overall Conclusion
1. Strategic set of tools for engagement around bus shelters
2. Design of a structure for the showcase of collected research

Agenda for Monday 27-10-08
1. Discussion on the points that came up from Friday’s meeting.
2. Decision on path of action for up-coming week and division of labour.
3. Decision on what we want as a final presentation/exhibition of the project.
4. Conversation about whole school event.
5. Discussion on group outing on Tuesday evening.

Minutes 23.10.08

23.10.08 – Group Meeting Minutes
10:15am in Studio

Present: Tilly/ Jen/ Tori/ Pól/ Kris/ Jonny/ Hayley/ Helen/ Carolyn/ Julie

Overview of Activity - The group updated Carolyn with a brief overview of our activities over the past few days – a picture of how we have gone about creating interventions within Sharrow to test out various ideas – two days of “challenging perceptions” of the ordinary (Jonny). Video prepared by Pól was shown to demonstrate the initial outcomes, along with explanation of specific ideas and interventions.

Interventions - Ideas - Development of ideas - Orange Chickens explained the development of the ‘Sharrow as a Stage’ interactive dance forum, including how the addition of chalked dance steps had encouraged public participation.

Audiences - Tilly described the ‘bubblewrap’ intervention, and its appeal in particular to a young girl; other groups found that it was the older generation who were the most willing to discuss their feelings and associations with what we were doing (or in some cases, nothing related to what we were doing!)

Participation - Carolyn asked what the public had been asked and how they had reacted; general discussion about memories of Sharrow, what the bus meant to the public, what their thoughts were when using the bus stops etc. It was largely agreed that people did start sharing memories as a result of the interventions – this improved over the day (possibly due to the installations ‘establishing’ themselves over time?) – Hayley pointed out the possible increased success if they could be left for, say, a week – agreed that the projects ‘grew’.

The ‘living room’ installation created a stage in which to sit, and it was pointed out that no one stopped to question the group during its stay in the bus stop; equally, no members of the public wanted to join in. Carolyn pointed out that, in that situation, she probably wouldn’t either…

Jonny mentioned the participation of bus drivers, in particular whilst playing games in the ‘living room’, one joined in by calling out letters for Hangman… Whilst this was a positive experience, far more common were negative reactions from bus drivers and employees of the transport were less encouraging yet unsurprising.

Key idea – “I remember you from yesterday”; “weren’t you the ones at XXX bus stop?”; “are you anything to do with the XXX in the bus stop down the road?” - already having an impact on the community, sparking memories, forming network, creating a stir!

This idea was pursued, in that through stage + celebration we were creating forums for memories (Hayley). Carolyn pointed out that this was valid – even if the information does not come back to us directly, the fact that ideas are being generated within the public shows that we have, to a degree, achieved what we set out to do.

Discussed problems encountered – question of legality of a barbecue in public (although in practice the intervention was not stopped)

Many group members agreed that there was great value in the public’s reactions after the initial event of the intervention had taken place, and that these responses were often more relevant and useful. Tilly mentioned one man who had completely reinterpreted the meaning of the Post-It bus stop, as a place for regular commuters to leave notes for each other and have ‘conversations’ via the notes.

Journeys to and from the interventions – Helen’s birthday – Pól + Jen arrived by bus, trying to link event + journey.

Sounds and transmission of noise – Murderous Red Robins explained how a visual intervention (tinfoil) became much more about sounds and distortion, as the tinfoil ‘carpet’ changed and aged with the presence of users, encouraged by the pleasing noises that the foil made when moving. ‘Bird box’ idea – placing a familiar sound in a familiar (garden) object, but in a manmade structure – was meant to be contrasted with a more urban environment – this may be pursued next week.

Carolyn mentioned French artist Sophie Calle and the Architecture Foundation’s bus stop competition as possible avenues of research.

Group summary (HA/JH) – 1. People have a lot to say if given the chance

2. Bus stops do work as a forum

3. Great value in reviewing work after event.

From point 3 - Group discussed how well some of the images and footage have come out when looking back after the event – in particular, the Post-Its (colour, shadow, framing of void) and the distortion of the Perspex during the ‘living room’ (manipulation of the form). Carolyn felt that this was a strength of work so far - to maintain an appreciation of the aesthetic throughout.

Carolyn felt that the open ended-ness of the ideas was a positive aspect, meaning that conclusions were not forced upon the public.

Meetings – It was brought up that the group had experienced some difficulties with the client meetings, in that they seemed estranged from our own line of work, and that as a group we felt we needed to give direction to the meetings at this stage in the live project. Carolyn agreed – has spoken to Trish who is happy for us to lead – concluded there has been slight misunderstanding about whether it would be appropriate for the group to take more control.

Our role – that at times, it has been unclear what exactly we as a group can bring to the Arch project (dancers and artists seemingly have more expertise and experience in the relevant areas). Pól suggested that we offer constraints; Carolyn had noticed that this was what the dancers were asking for last week – it was generally agreed by group that this was required. Carolyn also felt that we were not always confident in the skills that we brought to the project as architecture students, such as spatial awareness, sense of scale, sensitivity to materials + texture, etc. – and that we should be confident in exploiting our own knowledge and skills.

The group’s position within Birch O’Shea was also brought up – whether we are leaning more towards Trish’s practice, Simon’s approach, some form of ‘mediator’ or another factor all together. It was suggested that our bringing together of the public and the professional performer could be both the challenge and the role that we try to fill within the Arch project as a whole.

From this it was suggested that the group should provide something “more architectural” for tomorrow’s session – Julie also felt that this was something Simon had been pushing towards. It was agreed to work with what had already been accomplished to aim for this.

What the bus stop means – Thoughts both for and against deconstructing the bus stop idea – does it remain a literal forum or become more metaphorical? Ongoing food for thought.
Jonny suggested coming up with 20+ rough ideas which could be refined over the next weeks.

Final presentation/whole school event – As a group, we need to start thinking about how to present the live project – what/when/where/how would be most appropriate. Agreed by all that a staid, traditional presentation would be inappropriate and not in keeping with the work. Do we improvise an event beforehand to replay on assessment day? Group discussed live performance, street event, exhibition with satellite performances – to be discussed more next week.

Assessment – Carolyn ran through basic structure, namely: 50% on process/structure of project/ingenuity/outcomes – self assessed? 50% on success of the team/analysis/awareness of problems – at presentation [n.b. do not take this as certain – check]. She also suggested that we discuss any presentation ideas with Russell.

Conclusions - We have been pursuing (and confused by) two threads – professional dance, and public engagement in performance (Jonny). These threads are slowly coming together – feels like we are beginning to make sense of the project and our role within it, as we tie together ideas.

- We are now in a position to take a stronger position in running the client meetings on Fridays, where previously we have been unsure in our ideas/avenues of exploration

Our next steps – 11.15 onwards (discussed after Carolyn left)
- Prepare (in smaller groups) 1:1 prototypes for the dancers to use tomorrow afternoon, based on interventions and last Friday’s session
- Format the material gathered from the interventions to present to dancers and clients
- Plan tomorrow’s meeting – structure, material, objectives

­Other Information - Next Meeting – Friday 24th October @ 10am (be there 9.30am) at Sharrow Community Forum
(group, Trish + Simon, Carolyn, dancers)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This guerrilla installation involved the tedious task of sticking copious amounts of post-it notes to a busy bus shelter in Sharrow. The aim was to provide a physical forum for the community to display their memories of the place, their stories and their messages. The community engagement was very sucessful providing our team with many rich stories, jokes and downright hilarious colloquialisms. The passers by seemed drawn to this once mundane bus shelter and were not afraid to voice their opinions graphically. As a composition, the shadows became the focal point, magnetising people into the space. Although the nice men at the 'transport office' thought otherwise and within 2 days this beautiful piece had vanished. Of course if we knew who carried out this act of vandalism we would be very co-operative...quack quack

Re-imagining the ordinary...

Sharrow Engagement 21/22-10-08

Structure inspired Movement - friday session

Minutes of Meeting 20-10-08

10.45am in studio

Present: Av/Hayley/Jonny/Kris/Hoi Sun/Julie/Tilly/Jen/Pol/Tori/Helen.

1. Meeting Trish on Wed 22-10?
Trish was contacted (17/10/08) regarding meeting up on Wednesday. Currently she hasn’t responded with answer. It is decided that unless Trish gets in contact we will carry on with the week as planned.

2. Action plan for beginning of week.
It is decided that the most important thing that needs to be achieved this week is to create physical representations of our bus shelter ideas to date. It is agreed that this does not mean that we spend a lot of time creating structures but instead use easy available materials to create environments and situations which we want to study further. (Re-appropriating everyday structures.) The three groups will stay as they stand and will each go out and create installations and record the results in as many different mediums as possible. Each group is given a bus route to look at further.

Green Mallards – Bus route 22
Orange Chickens – Bus routes 97/98
Red Murderous Robins – Bus route 3

3. Postcards
Photographs will be taken of each installation and turned into 110 x 150 postcards which can then be left at the bus stop as a trace/memory. The idea of leaving them on buses is also discussed. Some of these postcards can just be keepsakes and others will be SAE’s with questions pertaining to our project. Julie will email Julia Udall to ask whether it would be possible to use the Sharrow Community Forum as the return address.

4. Image
It is agreed that all our postcards/future communication should include the #02Arch logo somewhere in an attempt to start to create a recognisable brand for any future event. Groups to work out amongst themselves how best to include it in their installations (or whether it is necessary.) Remember, any paint or adhesive must be water-soluble!

5. Bracelets
At meeting 15-10 it was decided that we should create bracelets with our #02Arch logo on them as something, in addition to the postcards, that we give out to locals as thanks for their participation. Helen and Hayley agree to look into this further. Possibility of buying cheap plain bands from the moor market and spraying them?

6. Carolyn meeting 21-10
It is agreed that Julie will email Carolyn asking to meet up with her on London road rather than in the arts tower so as best to take advantage of the whole day in Sharrow.

7. Recording the movements of the different groups.
It is agreed that an A0 map of Sharrow/Sheffield will be printed out and on it we will each map (in our agreed colours) the three bus routes we are looking at and the position of bus stops along the way. Jonny will print this map out and tack it up in the studio.

Another A0 sheet will be used to map in a looser fashion where our installation/events take place and what they consist of. Tilly will set this in motion and we will all add to it along the way.

8. Wednesday meeting 22-10-08
It is agreed to meet up on Wednesday at 5pm in the studio to go through all the research that has been collected and discuss what worked well and what didn’t.

9. Friday meeting 24-10-08.
It is agreed that this meeting must be planned by us down to the last detail, however this is not going to be possible until we have reviewed research on Wednesday. From this it will be decided which paths we will experiment with further, designing and creating a number of installations which the professional dancers will interact with on Friday.

10. Salsa
It is agreed to meet at the Forum at 7.15pm on the 21-10 for a group salsa session. It is mentioned that some people are going to the Wigglesworth lecture beforehand but will attempt to get down to Division St as quickly as possible.

Agenda for Wed 22-10

1. Comments on 21-10 Salsa lesson.
2. Mallards to run through their research.
3. Chickens to run through their research.
4. M. Robins to run through their research.
5. Discussion on the running of Friday’s meeting.
6. Agreement on actions to be taken before Friday.