Over the course of the project, the Stories of Change team have adopted a wide variety of methods to capture the voices of people across the UK and beyond.
What is a workshop? Perhaps there isn't an easy answer to that. But the loosely-defined workshop format, adopted several times by Stories of Change, has provided many answers (and many more questions) that have guided our research in a number of unforeseeable ways. This instalment of 'Behind the Story' takes a closer look at just how well the workshop format has worked out for our project.
Starting in with 'Future Works' in Sheffield, a group of local pupils and students were put to task with a card game and a laser-cut atlas map stretching from Yorkshire to Derbyshire. I had the pleasure of photographing the event, and what I saw that day was a room full of vibrant young people, engaging thoughtfully with climate change and energy issues that the rest of us had never considered before. Their responses were inspirational to us all.
One Great Workshop: Scenario-Making with UTC Sheffield
"Why should someone work hard for energy just for someone else to waste it so easily?" - Year 12 UTC student, Joe.
Julia Udall's 'Future Works' blog post focuses on the Scenario Workshop, hosted by Bloc Projects in June 2015. Several students from the University Technical College (UTC) Sheffield, along with two work placement pupils from King Edward VII School (Sheffield), developed a series of interesting and provocative questions - such as the one above - around the themes of energy, urbanisation, and climate change.
ONE GREAT WORKSHOP AT BLOC PROJECTS: SCENARIOS AND CLOUD QUESTIONS WITH THE UTC
Stories of Change convened a conversation with students from Sheffield's University Technica... Read More ›
Meanwhile, in the Rhondda Valley, the 'Everyday Lives' strand of the project were treated to a 'Ketso' workshop, courtesy of Alister Forman, a doctoral student from the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University. This "interactive participant workshop" drew on Alister's own research, involving the people of Treherbert through a hands-on exploration of the links between energy and the local community. Alister's feedback was very positive, praising the group for their recounting of "the immense depth of community spirit and abundance of natural resources in the area", as well as highlighting a potential "lack of community voice" with regards to stimulating positive local change.
And in Ynysybwl (South Wales), a three-day 'Energy Festival' was held in May 2016, featuring a workshop on future energy by Hamish Fyfe from the University of South Wales: an "intriguing session" that challenged participants "to envisage future energy scenarios through visual representations using everyday objects".
And finally, back in South Yorkshire, the University of Sheffield's 'Studio Future Works' team, comprising of MArch (Master of Architecture) students and their tutors, conducted a mapping workshop to visually represent energy and climate change in the city, with Gripple's 'Load Hog' Factory as the focal point.
This drawing is an adaptation of a collaborative piece of work produced by Studio Future Works at the Sheffield School of Architecture. Following a tour of Gripple’s factories the studio had a workshop mapping energy and climate change in and around Gripple’s Load Hog factory building.
The drawing highlights key machinery, potential energy production and ideas discussed at the workshop. It is evident from this that mitigation, adaptation, resilience and emergency response cannot address climate change in isolation. A dynamic response offering an assortment of ideas at a range of scales is required.
Niki Sole, Daniel Stern, Gordon Macrae, Renata Tyszczuk, Julia Udall, Si... Read More ›
Our definition of a 'workshop' is indisputably broad; the format itself, widely applicable. The coming together of students, pupils, academics, and members of local communities - both in North England and in South Wales - has facilitated several re-imaginings of place and space, stimulating a new public discourse around prominent energetic issues that are not only of interest to our project members alone, but to numerous people outside of the Stories of Change team as well.