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This morning we held a design charrette to draw and model, room layouts and stand design to support the Street Poem artwork. We considered the size of supports, how they could be transported and fixed temporarily to the poems.
Posted 2 Apr 2019 13:24

The second prototype we have made uses a box joint with dowel to stack the layers of wood and add further support. This can create an elegant joint and a clean square planter. However it is difficult to cut the wood to the degree of accuracy that is required to make the joint look good and straight. This will take more time to perfect if we take this joint forward into next week.
Posted 29 Mar 2019 16:42

We continued to work in the workshop this morning developing a joint we designed yesterday to build vertically using the same interlocking strategy. This outcome will create interesting and strong joints that can allow the planter to grow outwards or inwards as it gets higher.
Posted 27 Mar 2019 16:29

We attended a lecture given by Dominic Sagar and various groups working with homeless people and communities in creative ways.

We heard from the producer of ‘Sound of the Street.’ He discussed his aim to change the face of homelessness from a ‘man sat on the floor’ to a complex and diverse subculture. He records the sounds of the landscape, people walking past and fractures of conversations. It was pointed out that loops are made of repetitive words or phrases used offering a genuine insight into the lives of people living on the street.

Woah presented their project to display the music and sounds created by ‘Sound of the Street.’ They have designed a cardboard structure that integrates speakers into a path so you hear different tracks at different times. They discussed the addition of changing heights at which you hear the music encouraging the user to sit down and experience people walking by at a different level.

Vinnie from Herbalism discussed a forest systems-based approach to urban farming. He has developed a socially integrated growing system, in an old industrial building, that produced organic food to sell in Salford. The waste created in the shop was then used to feed the worms, whose by-products are used later on in the food system. This is important when discussing cities and urban planning to consider large systems of how waste can be used for gain.

We then heard from a representative from Cracking Good Food. He discussed the importance of raising awareness of eating good quality food. They use money from cooking classes to work with ex-offenders and the homeless to encourage cooking with raw ingredients in interesting and tasty recipes.

A resident at Victoria House gave an inspiring talk about how re-starting playing and making music has helped him have confidence in himself and live his best life. He encouraged everyone to not doubt their own abilities and use their skills to the full!

Street Poem showed us a video of an installation they created that allowed homeless people to write down their stories on large pieces of cardboard, telling honest stories about life living on the street. They want to further the artwork by displaying it on stands or a structure which can be used in collaboration with other projects or taken to meetings to encourage policy change. Events group AI is hoping to help with this task and is excited for further meetings with the organisers of Street Poem.

Thank you to everyone who came today, and Dominic for organising the lecture, we learned a lot and feel inspired by the range and creativity of the projects discussed!
Posted 26 Mar 2019 10:55

Group AI are excited to start events week tomorrow!

We begin with an introduction led by Dominic Sagar. Joining us will be:
- Events group Q ARE YOU AWARE
- Events group AE EMP:ART
- Representatives from Without A Home (WOAH)
- Representatives from Mustard Tree Foundation
- Representatives from Victoria House, Sanctuary Supported Living
- Representative from ‘Sounds of the Street’

We hope this will be a fun way to share ideas across groups, learn from organisations and hear about active projects. Dominic will give a brief about the Manchester Street Poem project and discuss how we can progress this project across the two Events 2019 weeks.

We then visit Victoria House in the afternoon to meet the staff and residents. We will use a prepared site plan to understand more about the site and structure productive conversations. Key topics to discuss are:
- How the residents currently use the garden
- Which areas are sunny and at what times?
- What is the exposure across the site?
- Discuss the garden as a meditative space
- How could planter layout enhance this?
- Discuss the addition of water features
- What do the residents grow already?
- What they wish to grow more of?
- What size of planters are useful?

Our objective of the afternoon is to establish a collaborative relationship with staff and residents at Victoria House and understand how we can help progress the garden.
Posted 24 Mar 2019 20:17

Drawings taken from Kazuko Koizumi, Traditional Japanese Furniture, (Kodansha International Ltd: Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, 1986) p. 187- 192.

We have been researching types of joints that are easily assembled with a rubber hammer and wood glue. This reduces the risk of work on site while creating elegant garden furniture.
As we are limited by time during events week. This has informed which joints we will investigate further. They must be simple to cut using hand tools or the band saw.
Number 18 Dovetailed Slot Joint requires very precise cutting which will be difficult to replicate many times quickly. Number 21 Miltered Lap Joint would also be difficult as cutting halfway through the wood and at an angle are both difficult to achieve a good quality result.
We will be looking at number 8, 13, 14, 20 when we are designing planters.
Posted 21 Mar 2019 19:40

Who is our collaborator?
Sanctuary Supported Living at Victoria House

Where are they located?
Victoria St, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 2LY

What accommodation do they provide?
36 one-bedroom flats and 3 shared two-bedroom flats, 8 beds for emergency accommodation.

Who do they help?
Adults aged 18 and over, who are experiencing or at threat of homelessness, with an active desire to participate in a programme of support.
What services do they provide to help?
Full time staff work with each of the residents to agree support plans to plan and realise a better future. They provide a range of activities such as cooking, gardening, art and games to help rebuild confidence and mental well- being whilst having fun and building social connections. Additionally, they provide advice and guidance with education, employment and skills to improve their situation.

What are their aims?
Their tailored support aims to find long term results for individuals where they become self- reliant, can gain move-on accommodation and prevent eviction.
Posted 29 Jan 2019 16:48