Had a meeting today with David Tittle of MADE – a regional centre of excellence for architecture and urban design in the Midlands. David is part of our steering group and came along to last Friday’s Continuity Day meeting. We hooked up to chat partly about another project I’m running (‘MapLocal’), using a smartphone app to help communities map their neighbourhood assets. Mostly, however, we talked about the intermediation project and David gave me some excellent feedback about the need to deliver a clear narrative linking together the historical and other elements of the project. Indeed, I think it’s something we’ve always been acutely aware of when setting up this project that we need to ensure the different parts of the project speak to each other (both metaphorically and literally) – which is, of course, part of the point of having the Continuity Day presentations and steering group meetings.
One of the advantages of having someone like David on the steering group is in giving us access to a range of networks around creative urban design in the Midlands, including ways of getting communities more involved in these design processes. There are also interesting overlaps with one of the other projects funded in our call, Understanding the value of the creative citizen led by Ian Hargreaves at the University of Cardiff. One of the issues they’re interested in is the nature of hyperlocal media – volunteer reporters covering local news and issues. MADE have a lot of people who want to volunteer to work with them and have been asking some to act as journalists, writing about the many exciting initiatives happening in the region around urban design / architecture / planning. David’s intention is to rework MADE’s website to be even more of a hub feeding information back to those working in the sector about the many interesting things that are going on locally, to connect different people and projects and promote best practice. Really exciting stuff sitting very much in the centre of our interests about practices of intermediation.