STUDIO 4: "LEARNING"
The introductory studio topic was introduced as focusing on learning and exploring all the various forms of learning, engaging in a dialogue of understanding social, political and cultural obligations in the design profession whilst focusing on unmet needs pertaining to the issue of learning within a given society. In view of this, the analysis was aimed at resolving these issues in order to improve the overall sense of being of a city, and began by first thoroughly examining and understanding what exactly 'learning' was and how it applied to the investigations I was undertaking.
Lincoln a small Cathedral city in the East Midlands is where I chose to base my project. Although Lincoln is known for it's picturesque Steep Hill, Cathedral and University, it is also home to a plethora of social issues. The biggest problems are homelessness, drug abuse and alcohol abuse.
My research on Lincoln's social issues brought me to the attention of the high drug and alcohol abuse in the city centre. The rough economic climate coupled with low educational promise and a rise in unemployment have meant that drug abuse in the city of Lincoln has increased by a third in the past year and has a particular impact on the more deprived areas of Lincoln such as the Portland Street area. Homelessness is a huge problem on a global scale, and in the area of Lincolnshire, Homeless centres such as the "Lincoln Pathways Centre for the homeless are at full capacity" meaning that vulnerable people are being turned away, therefore forcing them to be exposed to drugs, alcohol and even prostitution to get off the streets. Homelessness is particularly dangerous for the youth of our society due to the lure of drug and alcohol abuse which in turn can have a particularly negative effect on the physical and mental state of the user, young homeless people also are in lesser health and are at greater risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases and experiences victimisation and violence. Framework, a charity based in Lincoln specialises in helping to get young people back on their feet and provides five hours of support for seventy five susceptible youths. My proposal is to work with other precedent homeless centres in the city, but provide more support than what is being provided at this moment in time.
The biggest issue regarding the Portland Street site is that the city of Lincoln has been divided by the railway that crosses through the middle of the city cutting a clear divide between the north of Lincoln and the south. To the south of the Lincoln area there is a distinct lack of any sort of recreational facilities other than the football stadium which overpowers the area and has caused problems with planned violence from football hooligans. Socially, Lincoln is described as highly deprived and high in crime and unemployment, with low educational levels and a high teenage pregnancy rate. This is characterised by a high population density, cheap rent, low education levels and premature death rates, because of this, the community itself and is very much excluded from the city centre and the change in atmosphere is felt almost immediately as you walk south of the railway station. There is a strong sense of disarray in the area, the metaphorical walls that have been built from the varying ethnic backgrounds, mostly White British and Eastern European and the lack of social connection between the University students and the locals have created a dark atmosphere.
(MORE WORK TO BE ADDED AT A LATER DATE)