Welcome to the Empowering Design Practices e-newsletter 

Issue #7 Winter 2018

Welcome to the seventh edition of our project e-newsletter.

Since our last newsletter we have been busy with a number of activities, such as working with our longitudinal study projects (including delivering a workshop at St Peter’s Chester focusing on the design brief and communicating with architects); delivering two ‘design studio’ workshops using creative tools; and leading a programme of study tours and training for professionals, students and groups looking after places of worship. Read on for more information about our activities.

This update also shares information about new resources produced as part of the project, as well as an opportunity for groups to take part in a study tour and to gain insights from a successful church remodelling project.

Upcoming Activities and Opportunities

Mossley Hill Study Tour
11am - 2.30 pm, 6 January 2019, Liverpool

Get inspired by the potential of community engagement and design to enhance and re-imagine historic places of worship on this hosted study tour of Mossley Hill Church in Liverpool. The Church has undertaken an award winning remodeling project to create a social space for the neighbourhood to connect. The Study Tour is free and travel bursaries are available. Register for a place here
New Resources
Explore Design: Community Buildings

Drawing on our work with historic places of worship, as well as other community projects across the UK, we have developed a highly visual website that can help anyone new to design approach community buildings through a design lens.
Visit the resource here.
Design Training: Empowering Communities to Unlock Place Potential

This new film captures the Design Training course we ran in Sheffield in September 2018, and explores the experience and impact of an intensive and highly creative 2-day course in which groups explore how design can help unlock the potential of their buildings.  

You can watch the video here.
Project News and Updates
Gaming as a design engagement tool / 6 December 2018

We recently ran a design studio for a group of Year 5 children from St Mark's Church of England Primary School in North London using Roblox as a tool to explore the design of buildings, collaborative approaches to design and the role that children can play in generating 3D models to test design ideas. 

Read a blog about the project here
Using film as a tool for engagement in the design process / 21 November 2018

Led by filmmaker Tot Foster as part of our design studio programme, we held a workshop in Bristol exploring simple, accessible film techniques for use in community engagement in building design projects. 

Read a blog about the workshop here.
Live Projects Sheffield / September 2018

In preparation for our final Live Project in collaboration with Live Works at the Sheffield School of Architecture, our team visited Masters students in Sheffield and gave a presentation about community engagement in design, drawing from our experience working with previous student projects. A group of those students was paired with St Michael’s Church, Byker and over a period of 6 weeks delivered community-led workshops to help create a design brief, develop design ideas, and also to test those ideas and involve the users the design process.
Design Training Sheffield / 11 - 12 September 2018

Four groups looking after historic places of worship - from Newcastle, Rotherham, Leeds and Halifax – took part in our two-day design training course in September.
Read more about the design training course here.
Impact Report

In September we published a mid-term report led by external consultant Ashley Jay Brockwell, presenting impacts and benefits to individuals and groups who have taken part in project activities up to August 2018.

Learn and obtain a copy of the report here.
Design Research Showcase / 20 - 23 September 2018

The Empowering Design Practices project was one of the projects exhibited at the Design Research for Change Showcase at the London Design Fair. This retrospective showcase of AHRC-funded design research projects aimed celebrate the enormous impact and benefits that design research brings to the world around us.

For more information see here.
About Empowering Design Practices

Empowering Design Practices: historic places of worship as catalysts for connecting communities is a five-year £1.5m research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under the Connected Communities and Design highlight notice.

It is a collaborative partnership between three Open University faculties (Maths, Computing and Technology, Arts, and the Institute of Educational Technology), The Glass-House Community Led Design, Historic England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance. Additional professional support is provided by Wright and Wright Architects, Live Works and heritage consultant Becky Payne.

You can contact us via the project website, email or find us on Twitter
Copyright © 2018 Open University, All rights reserved.

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