Katy Barnes

Northumbria 2022

Building Belongings: The interconnected value of working with crafts

This project is based in Newark-on-Trent. Building Belongings explores how working with crafts can reveal many other aspects of people’s lives. The architectural project is the design of inspirational workshops, but the study is much more. It provides a setting where participants can reveal, record and cultivate local intangible heritage. The whole design research process is logically conducted but with great sensitivity, and the proposal has mental health and social purpose.  There is careful selection of the crafts, with art, carpentry, ceramics and especially weaving coming to the fore. The holistic ethos encourages intergenerational activities and intercommunity discussion. It reawakens reminiscences, and expression of individuality and personality. These are crafts for well-being, aimed at combatting loneliness and generating a wider community hub. Further considerations include adaptive re-use and sustainability. In the initial scheme, there is provision for multi-use, as the workshop becomes a performance space in the evening. Unusually for student work, future initiatives are also explored, as well as community evaluation for project longevity. In this project, participants can convey their thoughts, feelings, and memories through space and objects, as sometimes these emotions can be difficult to translate into words.


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