Date: Friday, 22 – 25 September 2017
Location: The W OR M & Powis Community Centre
Exhibition: Saturday, 28 October 2017, 10am-4pm at The W OR M

Workshops:

Re-imagining My Neighbourhood has two actions: a two-day workshop and a one-day exhibition of the workshop findings.

The two-day workshop will run on the 22nd and 25th of September, during school holidays, at Powis Community Centre, Aberdeen. It is aimed to a small group of young people – 10 teenagers – living in this area.

1-day workshop – 22nd of September Morning session: Introduction of all participants and of the purpose of the event, followed by a presentation of a brief history of Powis and its housing project Afternoon session: The discussion will explore community problems regarding housing and public space surrounding Powis Community Centre.

2-day workshop – 25th of September Morning & Afternoon sessions: Re-Imagining My Neighbourhood – how could I make it better? Use of drawing/colouring materials, making models, etc for expressing ideas

Exhibition:

Re-Imagining My Neighbourhood exhibition shows the output of two workshops with youth from Powis Circle, in Aberdeen. It consists of a model of the neighbourhood and architectural drawings made by them as well as photographic documentation of the workshop.

Using the family architect methodology developed by Argentinian architect Rodolfo Livingston, these workshops encouraged young people from regeneration communities to imagine improvements to their housing and neighbourhoods. This method positions the architect as a participant rather than decision-maker and focuses on smaller housing projects. It favours the perspective of the citizen over business.

Following this process on the first workshop, the participants made architectural drawings of the flat where they live as well as another one where they would like it to be. By planning together, both teenager and architect shared their knowledge in complementary ways. The process showed that each one inhabits and imagines their home in different ways, independently of their standardised typology of social housing. This involves a pact between architect and client, exploring the activity of listening and motivating the user to express their imagination in a language they feel comfortable with.

On the second workshop, the method was extended to the neighbourhood scale using a model-making tool instead of drawing. In a 3D environment it was easier to talk about the experience of living in their neighbourhood, about the likes and dislikes of the place where they live (now and in the past), about their imaginings of ideal places, and the key points for turning a place into a good place.

People involved:

Caleb Munro, Cooper Munro, Codey Munro, Riley Topal (youth)
Alfonso M. Cuadrado, Ester Gisbert Alemany, Sofia Oliveira (architects)