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AirPlace: Interdisciplinary approaches to regeneration & social sustainability

Nunes, Rebecca and Sanchez, M R (2023) AirPlace: Interdisciplinary approaches to regeneration & social sustainability. In: Applying Education in a Complex World, Apr 26-30 2023, Toronto.

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This paper presents Airplace; a collaboration between academics from Staffordshire University (UK) across various fields – Photography, Fine Arts and Architecture – and a community of young residents in Hanley (Stoke-on-Trent) to design and build a learning pop-up space. Stoke-on-Trent has been identified as a region of severe deprivation, ranking 13th in the 2019 Indices of Deprivation study released by the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government. This project is part of a wider strategy of regeneration of the area through arts practices and experiential learning strategies that proposes reimagining the architect Cedric Price’s project The Potteries Thinkbelt. (1964, S.o.T). The Potteries Thinkbelt proposed an innovative university model for the regeneration of the local Pottery industries and infrastructure, then significantly in decline. In this proposition the railway line would support a mobile educational provision based on temporary structures, with the carriages becoming classrooms. Airplace is a contemporary iteration of some of these key concepts. In 2022 we were invited to engage participants of the Portland Thinkbelt Summer program in a place-making and identity workshop. The focus was the co-creative design and building of a pneumatic structure in collaboration with the Portland Inn Project. The space then morphed into a studio to host a self-portrait event on the final day as a celebration of the diverse identities of the community participants. In this paper we contextualise the workshop in relation to Price’s visionary thinking and consider the impact of the project on local regeneration strategies and policies supporting place-making and social sustainability.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Digital, Technologies and Arts > Art and Design
Event Title: Applying Education in a Complex World
Event Location: Toronto
Event Dates: Apr 26-30 2023
Depositing User: Rebecca Nunes
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2023 15:59
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 15:59

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