Dreamers and Schemers
Gold Diggers Pushers and Junkies
..were all words associated with the projects of architects and entrepreneurs Urban Splash. 'It will never work' has been their call to action rather than a discouragement. The company's maverick presence on the development landscape of the North has changed the way we live, work and play in our cities. Urban Splash profess to have started without a plan but saw something in the old industrial buildings and brownfield sites of the North which were lying unused and unloved. Now celebrating 25 years in business which has been marked by a brilliantly curated exhibition at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) which I managed to get along to this week.
The exhibition tells the story of their journey narrated with what was going on politically at the time (the decline and closure of northern industries then heralded by the promise of Tony Blairs New Labour) and how they have turned troubled and abandoned urban sites into homes and communities in our city landscape.
Below is one of Urban Splashes projects Parkhill Flats, Sheffield. The black and white images and how in its hay day it was a community that later became a 'no go zone' with vandalism and youth crime. Today the colour pictures show how, rather than being pulled down, the now listed building serves the newly created community for Sheffield.
My aim here is to capture moments or thoughts around design. I am constantly inspired by the London design exhibitions, photography and design publications. In fact I get my inspiration from so many places.. By sharing these experiences and thoughts with you I hope to both educate and inform.