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From Redundancy to Renewal: Reclaiming a cultural identity

Part 1 Project 2014
Yannick Scott
University of Plymouth | UK
Ivybridge is a small town located in the South Hams district on the south coast of Devon. The River Erme that winds itself through the town has, historically, played an intrinsic role towards the very existence and development of Ivybridge, from a 13th century bridge - overgrown with ivy - through to its official recognition as a town in 1977.

Industrial exploitation of the River Erme dates back to the 16th century, where a range of industrial mills ran parallel with the river, enabling Ivybridge to establish itself and expand its industrial wealth. Although historically important to a prosperous local industry and an identity marker to Ivybridge for over 200 years, Stowford Paper Mill has become a marginalised site in recent years and has now undergone a process of decommission. As such, the site and infrastructure that remain provide an opportunity to bring Ivybridge’s redundant identity to foreground.

This project works towards reclaiming an identity pertinent to Ivybridge through the implicit recognition of the cultural value of the everyday object. This is facilitated through an archive of domestic detritus from Ivybridge and its encompassing community that acts simultaneously as a cultural barometer and a materials inventory for a collection of live work units - specific to craft activities relevant to site, both locally and nationally. These live-work units also initiate a relationship with the neighbouring community college, through the provision of craft-based workshop facilities. As such, a trade in knowledge is established and the site starts to engage in a conversation with Ivybridge and the wider community.

Yannick Scott


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