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.


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