This morning we had a lecture from the head of the Trans-disciplinary MA design course at UCLAN. The lecture was on a city brand project that a group of people have set up to try and rejuvenate the city and bring some more culture in to make it into a city that we can all be proud of. I thought that the topics raised in the lecture were very interesting and have a lot of real world relevance which can potentially have a huge impact on society.
I think the need for people from different courses to come together is crucial. Different design disciplines would bring something new to the table and with all the creative minds working together the possibilities could be endless.
When people make the argument about the project being a waste of money and how the money would be better spent elsewhere I would say this. The only way in which progress can be made is through pumping money into projects like the city brand project. Creating a brighter, cleaner city with imaginative design would give the public something to be proud of and to care about. Of course there are the obvious arguments of vandalism, but that can be said about any city. If you push hard enough, and keeping cleaning up the vandalism, or create some sort of anti-vandal design the idea could work. Also as part of the design project maybe there could be an concept where the council installs a big wall which gives people the chance to express, visualize and design their own ‘vandalism’ for the public to see. This is just one of many ideas to create a better society and I think more people should be involved in this process.
The idea of the sculptures in the town center of Preston where there are benches welded into the floor that appear as though they have been peeled back from the floor, I think are particularly inspirational are amazing pieces of design. It gives off and sparks so many ideas about the history of Preston and what is under the layers of pavement as well as the history of the city. Also this design is screaming to be replicated all over the North-West and possibly even the UK. Taking this idea and running with it can create many different everyday useful tools that people can use and interact with, such as the bike stand that was shown in the presentation. You can also apply this idea with things from signposts to lampposts and telephones boxes to bus stops. Integrating this type of design into society is the starting point so as to not scare the public with outrageous designs, instead bring them in a bit at a time so people become used to the sculptures.
The main point to take away from this is that everything is in the mindset. If no one wants anything to change and are oblivious to the obvious problems that cities have with crime, vandalism and a general lack of care for their cities well being, then nothing will change. However if people start to take pride in their city and its surroundings we can potentially create a place which is visually stimulating as well as being a safer place to live. I realize that this isn’t going to happen over night, and planning permissions along with contracts have to be put in place first, but if one group of people makes that first push then the bricks will start to fall and progress will be made.