This was the single A1 sheet we had to produce to explain our concept ideas for our thesis project, based on our primer explorations, to our crit panel and studio group. Mine was based on the idea of a restoring an industrial function to Rotherham that has either been lost through economic pressure, or erased by deliberate efforts to 'civilise' Rotherham, and sterilise it's heritage.
The idea of my thesis would be that in the wake of the failure of numerous programs for civic regeneration to uplift Rotherham (as executed in neighbouring Sheffield) a rethink of what constitues culture/identity/purpose of smaller post industrial communities like Rotherham is required. This involves targeting the planned cultural quarter (part of the now defunct Rotherham Renaissance program) as a location for restoring the lost function of Rotherham - a venerable industry. This stems from my belief that the modern conception of the industrial age is one of dystopic grime, depression and poverty, as such it should be buried like a dirty secret is flawed; industry is a necessary component of any modern society and is beneficial to the city as an organism; and the fascination and near obesessive compulsion to epxunge any evidence of that history of innovation and dislocate these activies to the fringes of townscapes is a malignant practice, that creates hollow and souless spaces in the city fabric populated by the synonymous tyopology of the community art centre/cafe/theatre intervention.
I propose that rather industry should be engaged in it's modern form in Rotherham - advanced engineering (see the AMP), and reintroduced to the city as it's engine. It should be integrated into the heart of the city and utilised as a means of driving a community forward in a meaningful manner, and not by means of the service sector which promotes a culture of relentless consumption.
More to come soon.....as my brain makes sense of it.