Having visited the site almost every day for the past week, I have started to feel very connected to it and its people. I have talked to business employees, householders and even other visitors like myself and tried to understand what it lacks and what it needs. In a previous post, I talked about the ideas of restoration and addition based on the University of California Blum Centre for Developing Economies. There, I proposed the design of a community and link between the industrial, housing and landscape areas, as well as the addition of communal and green areas.
In this post, I focused on the industrial and artistic aspects of the site. There are a number of very remarkable businesses as well as a talented artists living in the area but I believe the area does not promote them enough. Having talked to them, I realised that perhaps the most vital problem in the area is the lack of space. This creates a strong sense of ownership and tensions which reduce productivity and creativity. So, I believe that a valuable addition to the area would be a centre where all local businesses and artists can exhibit and talk about their work and also invite other similar businesses and create connections. The precedents provided above are from the Cyprus International Fair in Nicosia and the International Festival of Businesses in Liverpool. They provide exhibition spaces to businesses and also involve the organisation of events where the aim is to promote innovation and inspiration. Businesses and people from all around the world have the opportunity to meet buyers, investors, suppliers and technology partners, and delegates and experts share their thoughts and ideas. The construction of a similar centre in the area, which will also invite artists, in addition to the design of landscape and communal areas will create a tighter community within the area and a stronger link to Sheffield and the rest of the world.