How can the act of site responsive making be used as a tool for engagement?


Through sourcing local material we will use this as a tool to map/register the social, cultural and economic condition of the area and construct a new scenario for the occupation and use of the Phoenix Nursery site. The methodology will consist of 4 stages – Observe – React – Gather – Make


One core methodology of our practice is using the act of making as a means of teaching agency and insight within contested and marginalised contexts. This method introduces an active and performative scenario that forces a multi-faceted mode of engagement with context. In this scenario the act of making is not used as a means of teaching people how to make but instead learning about a place by doing within that place. Key outcomes are experiencing how to engage with a variety of local actors/stakeholders, being resourceful, participating in the economy of a place, mapping the economy of a place, mapping the sociology of a place, mapping the culture of a place. In the context of Test Unit that learning will often be revealed to the participants gradually or at the end of the project so the acquisition of knowledge become naturally attained and embedded through the process of participation rather then being forced in the form of a ‘lesson’

Methodology / process:

The methodology will consist of 4 stages:

Observe – the existing condition of the site with a particular focus on the edge condition and how that facilitates or denies engagement and interaction

React – to our findings by speculating on how a manipulation of the existing edge condition might transform the way in which the public utilise the site

Gather – the materials required to create and intervention to prototype our idea

Make – an intervention on the site in response to what we have seen, how we have reacted and the material we have gathered.

Links / references:

Reference: Riverside Solidarity, 2017

About facilitator:

BAXENDALE believe in the potential of people and place. We value ideas and facilitate public agency in the re-imagining of place through collaboration, active making and thoughtful analysis. We believe that conceiving ideas, prototyping interventions and creating local capacity to enact sustainable change can be an organic and responsive process that brings communities together to work towards common goals.