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  • Lucy Parkinson

Live Project - Sheffield Future's Youth Services

As part of the University of Sheffield's Live Projects Programme I had the pleasure of leading and working with my fellow students to deliver a Feasibility study for the Charity.


This is the first example where I used my thesis research 'Marginalised Children = Marginalised Research = Marginalised Architecture' in a practical application.

Sheffield Futures are an independent charity providing services for vulnerable young people, aged between 16-25. They support people with a range of issues, including emotional and mental health, sexual exploitation, housing and employment. By delving into and understanding Sheffield Futures role in helping guide young people with various issues by working in residence, we also began to reflect on our own position and the implications of high stress on “young people’s” mental state.


Mental health in education and schools of architecture continues to be a major talking point. This has led to students and tutors alike re-evaluating the processes of learning and significantly, the importance of design interventions we can make as architects. Our environments must be used to heal not hinder, understanding those affected is key to the success of those spaces.

Sparking a design project focused around participation and co-designing with the users of Star House, a collaborative design process was consistently developed over the six week period. Tailored workshop deliverance and the creation of a neutral environment were used to consistently communicate that all opinions were valued, 107 hours of participation were logged with over 200 people. This allowed all to play a part in co-designing and establishing a foundation for designing with mental health suffers.

The cyclical process of; participation, analysis, design, was used to inform architectural design and develop constant improvements to the engagement exercises in tandem. No design decisions were made without participation and all outcomes were fully co-designed with the young people, staff and multi-agencies that use Star House.

Alongside the Brief and Feasibility Report that collates a series of initial design options derived from our participatory research, we are handing over our participation cookbook that summarises all our engagement analysis and a branding guideline document that explores existing branding, application, and future development alongside the graphic criteria for the new YIACS service. This collated handover document for both Sheffield Futures and the succeeding architect, passes on our knowledge and lessons learnt.


Credits.

School of Architecture

Lucy Parkinson, Sam Austen, Adam Justice, Jorunn Karadottir, Marika Karouzou, Pritika Kumar, Ming Lu, Joe Mckibben, Benjamin Powell, Juliette Sung, Rosanna Sutcliffe, Kaiqi Wei, Caroline Williams, Baicen Zhou Coordination

Carolyn Butterworth


To learn more about the Live Projects follow the link - Liveprojects.org

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