50 Ideas for better Sheffield was a collaboration between us and a local school as part of Festival of the Mind.
Every year, we carry out an enormous amount of practical research into various aspects of Sheffield. This research could involve cataloging area development, finding uses for empty shops, or creating an outdoor installation inside a former cutlery factory.
However, much of this research is only presented once, at project reviews to an audience of university students and staff. After this initial presentation, the research is shelved, meaning that huge amounts of important information are inaccessible to individuals and organizations in the city that may be able to use it.
50 ideas for a better Sheffield reviewed such projects from the last 10 years, and presented it in the context of contemporary Sheffield, linking it with current local initiatives.
The public part of the project included a week-long exhibition and an evening of talks and presentations at a local community hall. Both events aimed to facilitate creative dialog between people of the city, Sheffield City Council, us, and non-public organizations working on the ground.
Selected projects included: proposals for the reusing of the Castle Marker, the creation of a natural play space at the end of Kelham Island Museum, the development of sustainable frameworks for Parkwood Springs and Abbeydale, the creation of urban gardening projects, and much more.
The full collection of 50 ideas for better Sheffield projects was printed in many copies for the exhibition, so the visitors could take their favorite ideas with them. Some ideas proved so popular we had to reprint them twice! People especially liked Elevated Tree Walks in Endcliffe Park (22) and Sheffield High Line (49) Over 700 people visited the exhibition over the course of a week.