Last week we had a very busy time indeed.
On Tuesday we attended the Eco Innovation event run in conjunction with the Centre for Sustainable Design, then on Wednesday we were at the South Coast Design Forum’s Brighton Design Showcase where I took part in the one minute Pecha Kucha style challenge (where I read a poem, which will be published here tomorrow) and lastly on Thursday we were at the launch of the pop up people report in Worthing at the lovely Fresh Egg offices.
The report has been compiled by Dan Thompson from Artists and Makers, and examines who the people are who create pop up events, what they can be, where they can be locate, and most importantly, how they can combine to create a re-enlivened High Street culture.
The front page of the report, which was supported by the Arts Council and Lottery Funding amongst others, begins with a brilliant phrase – ‘We can do much more together – it’s not so impossible’, which sets the direction for the rest of the document. This is not just supposed to be a list of what has been done and a few scattered statistics – this is a call to arms to those who want to resurrect the empty spaces within our towns and cities.
A few towns are highlighted in the report – Margate, Coventry, Leeds and Rotterdam are examined with We Are Bedford and The Brick Box in Brixton being used as case studies for what can be achieved.
It really is quite compelling reading – the realisation of exactly the state our Town Centres are in and the knock on effect from closure to closure yet inspiring at the same time – the fact that people have actually got up and done something about the issues.
The last section looks at how both we as consumers, potential pop-up creators and government can support those willing to re-open empty shops with new creative projects, listing a series of useful pieces of further reading on town centres and urbanism, empty shops and ideas and inspiration.
We thoroughly enjoyed reading the report, and having completed a pop up design studio ourselves (and designed pop up shops for others), we can testify to the fact that pop up events do assist in the rejuvenation of an otherwise empty, sad and depressing location. They do not have to cost the earth, can be completed and implemented effectively and have huge impact.
Let’s just get out there and do something about it.