Our third year studio focused on producing a meaningful intervention to a community. We focused on Ilkeston for its rich history as a mining town that has struggled to move beyond its past. It like many towns has bordered up shops and is considered one of the poorer areas of the region. I chose to focus on youth and provide something that would make a difference for the future generation of the area whilst bringing more money and people from further away.
My project sprung from the lack of services and attractions for youth in the area and the idea to create something inclusive and inspiring for the community and for young kids to do. I carried out a number of studies and a survey to back up the ideas. I came up with two mappings after observing the behaviour of skaters. This developed into the idea of ‘unconscious’ and ‘conscious’ space. Unconcious being the urban fabric that skaters enjoy as they head to their destination or simply wish to explore with their skateboard. I found it to be a linear progression and mapped it as such. Conscious space was determined by repetition and re-exploration typically created by a skate-park. Skaters would go round and try things again and again and improve upon themselves. I wanted to create a building and surrounding area that would involve both spaces and would transition from one to the other, to give skaters experience of both sensations of the urban environment. It would allow others to enjoy seeing skaters use these spaces, almost as performance without creating an environment that is exclusive but at the same time offering areas that skaters and young would be able to hang out. A levelled design was created and mapped from this.
The top layer was intended to be ‘unconscious’ where anyone could walk and experience the performance of skaters both inside the building and out. It would connected part of the town through this layer. Then one would go down to the building and find the entrance and layers of conscious space for skaters to enjoy.