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A Date with Space: An Invitation to Cross-pollination

Part 2 Project 2019
Stephanie Asher
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Situated in Newcastle, the project questions how processes of cross-pollination in an urban context can reveal capabilities of existing local professions, resources, and community groups. It proposes an experimental approach to occupying space through initial ‘dates’, whereby scouted uses / activities temporarily inhabit significant spaces across Newcastle - testing what works before committing to defined uses. Throughout the ‘dating’ process, emphasis is on harnessing local resources / expertise; reviewing how contributions can cross-pollinate to create different outcomes. This could mean alternative material combinations for physical interventions or realising how existing local facilities can together act in running different ‘date’ activities. Uses / activities developed to ‘date’ spaces aim to encourage social activity, by moving across Newcastle, creating connections and cross-pollination both spatially and socially.

We see re-appropriation of local expertise and spaces – how experimenting with transferable skills and temporary, moveable, physical interventions are an appropriate architectural approach to introducing ‘dating’ phases for space. The architect adopts the role of ‘dating agent’, negotiating; spaces, social activity, and local actors - including the role of architectural practice. Whilst the initiative could lead to permanent intervention, the focus is not any one end result - its purpose is creating capacity to ‘date’ space.

Stephanie Asher

Neil Stevenson
Gabriel Tang
Prof Sam Vardy
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