Wednesday, 23 March 2011

dissertation proposal part 2

Title (max 50 words)

How have regenerated cities successfully used a cultural/exhibition/civic/arts centre to give a sense of culture and community? How can this be applied to the V&A in Dundee?

Summary (max 1000 words)

Community and culture are both very important factors of a cities identity. These features bring new industries, businesses and people to a city therefore causing growth and development. In the past the community was seen as being a group of people who worked or lived together; a neighbourhood. In recent years the idea of a community has changed and has often become a form of segregation between ethnic groups and class. For this to change and for community identification to come back to being a group of people from different classes, ethnicities and identities something must be done. With the arts being a cultural industry involving fashion, music, graphics, dance etc this can be used to bring different groups of people together and social transformation would be seen.

Exhibition Centres are created to serve more than the purpose of exhibition and so should act to bring different aspects of a community together. They should provide job opportunities, education benefits, improve the environment and provide a sense of community and so giving a social benefit. A cultural centre is different from an exhibition centre in that a cultural centre can involve exhibition, museum, arts and civic space; all features contributing to renewing citizenship and improving the local image. Bringing different forms of arts together is an important factor to consider when socially and physically regenerating a city.

With the V&A Museum coming to Dundee I am interested into how they plan to involve all of the community in this cultural centre. Museums and Exhibition centres have more than the purpose to exhibit but also to create a community and give the community a sense of culture. I have visited the exhibition of the proposed designs for the V&A in Dundee taking into account the questionnaire which asked what other services the public feel should be provided in the museum. The winning designer, Kengo Kuma explains that his aim is “to contribute meaningfully to the cultural richness of the city." It was noticed that his design had a main public seating and meeting space at the centre, thus creating a space for community interaction. In Kylie Message’s lecture she described museums to be “cultural – culture for all.” How has this been accomplished in other cities and how does Dundee plan to achieve this?

Looking at other cities that have undergone regeneration it is clear to see that one of their main focuses is to give the city a new sense of identity. These are often previous industrial cities in which the industry is no more or is fading away, and so the city has lost this identity. With Dundee previously being a city built on the Jute industry it can take lessons from other industrial cities for example, Sheffield and Liverpool. The process of regeneration can give the cities a new lease of life, bring new industries into the city and therefore create new jobs, improve the economy and give the community a new sense of culture. This new cultural identity can involve the past history of the city while including the new industries, businesses and culture. It is important to include the history of the city in the new design as this was and is part of the story and identity of the city.

When a city is being regenerated should a cultural centre be the main focus? What cities have used this regeneration master plan successfully? How has this been achieved? Other examples of cities within the UK that have been regenerated include Liverpool and Sheffield, both of which have a main culture and arts centre/museum. Liverpool used three different strategies to transform and regenerate the city. Liverpool Vision; for the business and economic development, The Mersey Partnership; to attract new tourism and investment to the city, and Liverpool First; to create a long term plan to create and maintain a sustainable community and create a thriving international city.

Sheffield has the Creativesheffield development company which has 5 main activities to ensure the transformation of the city; investment, marketing, regeneration, innovation and business support services. The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield and the Albert Dock in Liverpool are known as the cultural hubs of each respective city. Have these plans been successful in achieving a sense of culture for the community? What can Dundee take from these to ensure the same happens in this City?

Regeneration within a city can have impacts on the social aspects of the city. This includes the economy, education and community etc. This can be both positive and negative, therefore it is important to ensure that the planners and developers recognise this and take these social aspects into consideration. The regeneration will obviously impact on the future of the city, which will continually be changing. This must be considered when planning the development of a city. Future problems cannot always be predicted but it is important to try and maintain a cultural community to ensure the city is diverse and therefore open to expansion and growth.

There are many different forms of public centres for example, civic, arts, cultural, museums, exhibition etc. What are the main features of these that ensure that they are used by all members of the public and community? How can they be used to draw viewers in who wouldn’t normally consider going into a museum or exhibition? It is important to understand the people that a building is being designed for; this can be the wider public or a specific age group, gender, social group, ethnic group etc. These are all factors that affect the culture of a city and so should therefore be considered when designing a public building.

Aims: Why are you doing this? (max 100 words)

I am interested in culture, people and how their city affects their identity and sense of community. Knowledge can be learned for future regeneration from the past experience of other regenerated cities.

This idea of an exhibition centre or museum having more than one purpose is something that I would like to investigate further for future reference in practice. I would like to see how these centres are used as an effective tool in creating a community and society.

I would like to explore how the public of Dundee feel about the regeneration of the city along with the introduction of the V&A. This can help to ensure the purpose and function of the V&A is fulfilled.

I hope that this dissertation can act as a tool to help plan the regeneration of cities through learning from the experience of previously regenerated cities.

Objectives: What will you produce? (max 100 words)

What are the public’s thoughts on the V&A coming to Dundee? Will it create a sense of community? How so? What do they expect from it?

I will research other cities that have been regenerated to see how they have successfully used a cultural centre to give a new sense of community and identity to the city. This can be used to learn from their experience.

I hope to create a plan to help the V&A Museum in Dundee ensure that it involves all members of the public while creating a community and cultural hub using examples from other cities.

I hope to create an article that the members of the public can read to gain an understanding in how they can be involved in this process.

Keywords (min 5 and max 10)

Cultural Centers




Civic Centers

Urban Regeneration

Urban Renewal

V&A Dundee

Expanded Bibliography (min of 24 books, articles, websites)

References Part 1

Black, G, (2005), The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement (Heritage: Care-Preservation-Management), London: Routledge.

This very practical book guides museums on how to create the highest quality experience possible for their visitors. Creating an environment that supports visitor engagement with collections, means examining every stage of the visit, from the initial impetus to go to a particular institution, to front-of-house management, interpretive approach and qualitative analysis afterwards.

Florida, R, (2005), Cities and the creative class, New York ; London, : Routledge.

Richard Florida outlines how certain cities succeed in attracting members of the 'creative class.’ He looks at the forces reshaping our economy and how companies, communities and people can survive and prosper in uncertain times. Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have. Our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing.

Jones,P. & Evans,J. (2008), Urban regeneration in the UK, London: Sage Publications.

This book is about the factors of Urban Regeneration. It has been broken down into chapters on Governance, The Competitive City, Sustainability, Design and Cultural Regeneration and Regeneration beyond the City Centre. It has been described as a useful handbook for students, breaking down the aspects of regeneration into a manageable form.

Lehmann, S. (2009), Back to the city : strategies for informal urban interventions. Collaboration between artists and architects, Ostfildern : Hatje Cantz.

Explains how arts have been brought back into the public spaces and roadways within a city and the impact this has had.

Message, K. (2006), New museums and the making of culture, Oxford: Berg.

Message describes how museums are now reinventing themselves to be much more than an educational place but one that can reach the broader public, giving them a sense of pride and public purpose. She uses examples of different museums throughout the world that have used their museum to create a public culture.

Newhouse, V, (1998), Towards a new museum, Monacelli Press.

Divided into various themes covering the relationships between museums and collectors, trustees, artists, and the public. This book takes a critical look at innovative architecture that interacts with art and the public in new ways. How the viewer reacts with the site, the building, and the art.

Prior, N. (2002), Museums and modernity : art galleries and the making of modern culture, Oxford : Berg.

This is a history of museums and galleries in the past and how they have been rejuvenated. It looks at the relationship between art galleries and the audiences, exploring the interrelationship between the artistic forms and how this gives roots to a modern culture. He investigates how the boundaries of art and culture have been determined by the museum world.


Fairmount Park Art Association, edited by Penny Balkin Bach, (2001), New land marks :public art, community, and the meaning of place [published on the occasion of the exhibition held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 10 February - 15 April 2001]; Washington, D.C. : Editions Ariel


References Part 2

Adam, C, (1999), Masterplan for urban regeneration : civic arts and culture centre, Dunfermline. Thesis (B.Arch.) - University of Dundee.

This thesis looks into the urban analysis of the area, recognising the existing architecture and public buildings therefore seeing the need for a new public centre. The importance of a masterplan is explained and explored to ensure the positioning of the centre is appropriate. Adam looks at other examples of arts centres throughout the world to gain knowledge and experience from.

Blake Stevenson Limited, (2000) Role of the arts in regeneration. Edinburgh : Central Research Unit.

This Article is written by the Scottish Arts Council looking into the role of Arts in the community. How to involve the community; listening to and working with when designing a new arts centre. Through research they explain the importance of giving the public a sense of ownership.

Jacobo, K. (2009) Urban spaces : environments for the future, Links : Barcelona

This is an investigation and examples of public spaces as outdoor, urban places. Looking into the importance of having a communal area for public use. The idea of how this gives the community a sense of identity and can be used to give the city personality and a culture.

Jodidio, P (2010) Architecture now! : museums = Architektur heute! Museen = L’architecture d’aujourd’hui! Musées, Taschen : Cologne.

Architecture Now! is a collection of public buildings from around the world. There is a synopsis of each buildings main function and some history of the designer. This book can be used as a reference to find public buildings that can be further researched.

Landry, C, (1996) The art of regeneration : urban renewal through cultural activity. Comedia.

Landry looks into the benefits of renewing citizenship and how this improves local image. They look at the importance of viewing the current local strengths and how these can be built on to make a town successful. There are examples of post industrial cities that have been turned around through physical and social regeneration. There is research of the success of arts and creativity being at the centre of this process.

Locker, P (2010), Exhibition Design, AVA Academia: Lausanne

Locker investigates and explains the main purposes of exhibition design; the aims and objectives, designing a narrative etc. She explains how to design for a particular audience and therefore involving the public. She looks into the importance of knowing who you are designing for – the people.

McNally, C, (1996), Strabane civic and cultural centre, Thesis (B.Arch.) - University of Dundee.

This is a thesis on the regeneration of Strabane (N.Ireland). As an architecture student, McNally has proposed a design for a new Civic and Cultural Centre. Through doing his design he explains the process, looking into what the centre should include, how to involve the public, the different functions it should have etc. He also looks at examples of previous regeneration projects throughout Europe.


Garcaa , B, (2004), Cultural policy and urban regeneration in Western European cities: lessons from experience, prospects for the future. Local Economy, Volume 19, Issue 4, pages 312 – 326

This explores the experience of cities considered to have succeeded in re-imaging and regenerating themselves through cultural activity and special events. It gives recommendations for further development within the UK context.

Smith, M. K,(2006, Tourism, culture and regeneration. CABI Publishing.

Smith looks at cities that have suffered from industrial or tourist decline, focusing on how this can be revamped and renewed. He looks to the significant role of tourism in culture and how this can achieve sustainable and integrated regeneration. He describes how the concept of regeneration can be applied to a variety of areas within a city, not just creating new buildings.

Wansborough, M & Mageean, A, (2000), The Role of Urban Design in Cultural Regeneration. Journal of Urban Design, Volume 5, Issue 2.

This looks at the link between cultural regeneration and urban renewal and development. It researches into the purpose, function and advantages of having a mixed-use development as a tool for creating a culture and community. The main focus of the article is the importance of having the people and culture at the centre of the design for the city renewal process.


Monday, 24 January 2011

assignment 1a&b - learning style survey

My learning style survey results:

Activist – Very strong

Reflector – Moderate

Theorist – Moderate

Pragmatist – Low

After taking the learning styles survey, my results showed that I was a very strong activist, a moderate reflector and theorist and a low pragmatist. This means that I apparently “like to be involved in new experiences and are enthusiastic about new ideas. They enjoy doing things and tend to act first and consider the implications afterwards. They are unlikely to prepare for the learning experience or review their learning afterwards.” I do agree with this to some extent in that I know that I like getting stuck into a new project or idea, working along with others in a team is something I usually really enjoy although I have sometimes been told that I just want to get on with a task a little too fast, but have become aware of this and I am learning to not be a rash but to think things through more before starting a new task. I suppose this is reflected as the test shows that I am a moderate reflector and theorist showing that I do view things from different perspectives which a agree with as I would find myself to be a rather level headed person who likes to hear all sides of a story before making my own opinion. I found being described as a low pragmatist was rather interesting as I would describe myself as someone who is eager to try out new tasks although I do agree with this being the lowest as the other topics do seem to describe me better.

[team meeting - discussing each others results to the survey]

My guess and their real results for my fellow team members:

(their real results will be enclosed in [ ] )

· Brogan Keenan – Activist/Theorist. [theorist/reflector] Brogan seems to get very excited about a new task and steps right into getting it done as soon as possible. She appears to be good at not rushing the tasks but making sure they are done properly and so I would say is a combination of an activist and a theorist.

· Sarah Mowbray - Theorist. [activist/pragmatist] Sarah seems to take great care in her work, making sure that he knows what she is doing before she goes about completing a task. She is good at thinking through the different options, taking it step by step before deciding on the best idea to go forward with.

· Jaqui Page - Theorist. [reflector] Jaqui appears to think tasks through very thoroughly before taking another step. She seems to take a lot of care and pride in her work making sure everything is done properly and neatly showing her perfectionist side.

· Thomas Marriner - Activist/Reflector. [reflector] Thomas seems to get into a project pretty easily and with excitement. He appears to take his thinking to a deeper level and think everything through quite a bit before expressing his opinion. He seems to enjoy hearing other peoples opinions on ideas and enjoys being able to put his knowledge into practice.

· Emma Thompson -Reflector/Theorist. [pragmatist] Emma is really good at taking a step back and analysing different aspects of the situation. She seems to think new tasks through and always presents her work very neatly showing she is a perfectionist.

· Liberty Thompson – activist. [activist] Libby gets really excited about new ideas and projects and always seems to be up for the challange. Shes really good at taking a leadership roll and working in a team, getting others involved.

When we were discussing what we each thought each others learning styles where it seemed easiest to guess who the activists where. I think this is due to them usually being louder, more verbal or the ones that would usually lead our team discussions. The others are sometimes hard to define between until you look a little more into the persons personality. As we do not all know each other that well yet it was a little difficult to work out their learning style as our meetings are usually discussions which is maybe why the activist role was more obvious. Within our team we had a pretty even number of activists, theorists and reflectors (3 of each) with only 1 pragmatist.

Within our team work together we discussed how it is important to look at every onesdifferent learning styles and the qualities of the different types. These then need to be taken into consideration when working together as a team, knowing who is best at the different roles. We also all agreed that sometimes it is useful to learn to be more like the other learning types, for example, let others take on the leader role that the activist can show enabling others to become more confident in leading a discussion. Or for the activist to take a more reflective outlook, taking a bit longer to come up with their idea and thinking the idea through step by step before rushing into it. Within our group it was also interesting to see how some people expected others to be activists but when this was put forward they were very shocked that they appeared to be an activist and said they didn't see themselves like that at all.

I find that sometimes I can rush into a project or task to fast and I know I should spend more time thinking about what i'm going to do first therefore I admire the more reflective/pragmatic view and so try to bring this into my thought/work process more.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

goodbye 2010 hello 2011

another year over, another one of those times where you reflect on the past and look to the future, make new resolutions, set out new ideas and plans. i sat down a couple of days after new years to make a resolution - only a few minutes later, i came up with 29! just little things I want to change this know what they say, its the little things that make a big difference. I know im not the kind of person that will set a big task and stick to it - who does?! so I reckoned it was best to have lots of little things. keeping up to date on my blog was one of those - so here goes!

new year. new ideas.
on new years day I was out for a walk with my family around a little village I have grown up with on the north coast of ireland. I was walking through a pretty nice part of the village, with lots of nice houses, some really old, some empty, some obvious holiday homes, some that are in the process of being built. It started a conversation with my dad about all the houses, talking about each one as we went along, about the different features we liked about them etc which rather swiftly moved on to a life chat about want I was planning on doing with my life! yikes! quite the biggie for new years day. but it was good. chat is good. thinking it out loud was good.

I'm pretty sure I want to do something about sustainability...about changing peoples ideas of sustainability....get rid of that "sustainability??what??" attitude and making them realise its really not all that confusing and that people make it out to be so much more than what it actually needs to be to make a difference. little things. big difference. its how I roll....

so what now? I suppose I need to keep thinking/investigating/enquiring into this idea. what have others done? what people think now and how this can be changed? its a pretty big field out there but i want to start to learn more about sustainability in interiors, in renovation and how we can change little things within the design of housing/small buildings to make them more sustainable/self sufficient etc. With the current recession and economic climate people aren't building as much, aren't spending as much and are cutting back big time, wanting to know how they can save money in any way possible. how can this be helped and changed through making people away of the need to change?