|Project lead||Tom Ebdon|
|Start date||September 2014|
|End date||Ongoing: rolling programme of projects aligned with academic content delivery|
|Programme alignment||Environmental Futures|
Architecture Making Community is a programme of research and live-projects based at Falmouth University. The programme is directed by the architectural staff who work on individual and collective projects with practitioners from other disciplines.
The ongoing research and 'live' project delivery is achieved through the academic programme at Falmouth, engaging students and giving them the opportunity to expand their skills. It aligns with our 2030 strategy of 'Doing it for Real'.
Architecture Making Community work on live projects with local communities to find solutions to real issues. Through making both 1:1 and large scale models, we work collaboratively to build real structures that challenge the way we live and work in our regional context.
We apply research methods to pedagogy, enabling architecture students to engage with local communities and for local communities to benefit from creative proposals to contemporary issues.
In 2020 the live project, the Centre for Life on Scilly, is a design challenge with a real community that will directly lead to the development of feasibility and design work for a Heritage Lottery Funded application to deliver a new multi-use/programme building on St. Marys.
Led by Tom Ebdon, the collaborative research team brings together Falmouth University staff and students with a wide group of partners from across Cornwall.
Since 2014 partners have included the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership (BCRP), Draceana Centre, Falmouth Transition Town, Falmouth 6th Sea Scouts, Penryn Primary Academy, Field Notes, Goonhilly Village Green Festival, Liminal, Penryn Town Team, Simon Persighetti (Wrights and Sites).
In 2020 the live project is with a new partner, The Island Partnership on the Isles of Scilly:
- Jeremy Brown – Island Partnership – Isles of Scilly – Co-Director of the Island partnership, working on the development of the Centre for Life on Scilly project.
- Tammy Bedford – Island Partnership – Isles of Scilly - Co-Director of the Island partnership, working on the development of the Centre for Life on Scilly project.
Since 2014 partners have included the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership (BCRP), Draceana Centre, Falmouth Transition Town, Falmouth 6th Sea Scouts, Penryn Primary Academy, Field Notes, Goonhilly Village Green Festival, Liminal, Penryn Town Team, Simon Persighetti (Wrights and Sites), The Island Partnership on the Isles of Scilly.
Outcomes & outputs
The outcomes of this project have been wide-ranging and we have given brief outlines below.
A design challenge with a real community that will directly lead to the development of feasibility and design work for a Heritage Lottery Funded application to deliver a new multi-use/programme building on St. Marys. Agreed outputs for the Centre for Life on Scilly project are still being defined with the Island Partnership. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the planned exhibition and public review of the work had to be cancelled. The aim remains for the work to be displayed in some meaningful way once the situation allows.
This live project began with members of the Penryn community working with Falmouth University architecture students and artist Simon Persighetti (Wrights and Sites) in a two-day participatory design workshop called Connected Communities: Penryn. From this workshop came a series of drawings and ideas that explored Penryn and proposals for sites for interventions that might promote the growth of a sustainable and vibrant High Street.
The work developed through this Connected Communities workshop formed the brief for the architecture designs for Penryn. These projects were exhibited and reviewed as part of a Public Exhibition in the Stuart Stephen Memorial Hall at the end of the project.
The student's proposals addressed ways of drawing people into the heart of Penryn and connecting the town centre with Commercial Road. There were proposals for swimming pools, a transport interchange, and a series of event spaces both indoors and outdoors, for theatre, music and the arts. A number of the projects looked at how the existing Penryn community and the new student community might integrate. Other projects look at access to the Penryn River frontage and all of the proposals contributed to a vision for making a sustainable and vibrant Penryn.
Having spent two days on the Goonhilly Downs as part of the Goonhilly Green Festival, the students worked up design proposals for an observatory that responded to the themes within the Goonhilly Village Green Festival and could be incorporated into future Goonhilly Down Festivals.
Architecture students worked with artist group Liminal to construct the Transient Parish bell tower for Goonhilly Village Green Festival in 2015 as a way of embedding themselves within the site for their own design project Goonhilly Observatory.
Penryn Infants and Penryn Juniors became an Academy school in 2015. Their two buildings sit next to each other but are not physically connected. Following the creation of Penryn Primary Academy, the school asked the students to look at the feasibility of linking the two schools physically. Students worked with the staff and school children from both the infant and junior sites to develop ideas for the brief. They then returned to the school to show their models to the children and get feedback on their proposals.
Working with the Draceana Centre the students looked at the feasibility of developing a place for community exchange on the pivotal site currently occupied by the 6th Falmouth Sea Scouts hut. Through the project, students engaged in discussion and presented their proposals for feedback to representatives from the Beacon Hill Regeneration Partnership and the Draceana Centre. Ideas generated through the students' proposals were used to help generate ideas for future funding applications.
Impact & recognition
For our undergraduate students, these contemporary design project challenges teach a wide range of skills that they can then demonstrate through their portfolios. In essence this type of very real project challenge helps the students to develop their capabilities and supports them in gaining employment upon graduation.
The local communities we work within all benefit from the projects as they address the real issues they are facing and need solutions for. With the example of the Centre for Life on Scilly, the benefactor is the Island Partnership and the wider community on Isles of Scilly. The project will lead to high quality research and investigative work that underpins and supports a real project looking to attract other funding opportunities to translate these initial design ideas into a built reality.
Media from different aspects of the project's work within communities have been gathered here.