Voice of Arbourthorne (Praise Pods)

Year | 2010
Location | Arbourthorne, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Client | Arbourthone  / Richard Crook, Primary Inclusion Centre, Sheffield City Council

For this particular project, our clients have been Arbourthorne Community Primary School itself, and the Primary Inclusion Unit at the City Council. Both have the aim of encouraging positive behaviour in education, as well as wider society in general. The basic premise is that we hear so many negative things about our world, and particularly about youth…it should therefore be everyone’s responsibility to shout just as loud about all the good things that people do, especially young people such as the inspiring kids at Arbourthorne.

Over the last few weeks, we have explored the local area, and run workshops with the kids and their parents to identify the things that prohibit a deeper symbiosis between the school and its community, constraining positive behaviour at the school gates. Through this, we uncovered some inspiring behaviour in the kids themselves, particularly the group of ‘peer mediators’ at Arbourthborne – kids who mediate in break-time disputes to take the load off of their teachers. A need was identified for a space for them to conduct their mediation, and so we conducted another workshop to get the kids to help design a structure that could be used for this, as well as transported into their local community and the city centre, acting as a beacon of positivity on its journey.

A cardboard prototype was constructed, and left with the school alongside a manual of construction details to translate the prototype into completed, permanent structure once time and funds become available. At every step of the way over the last weeks, the children have demonstrated all 8 of their core values, in more ways than we could possibly have predicted. This project has therefore been about building awareness – awareness of the positive thinking being done in school, and awareness of the opportunities that exist to apply this good citizenship outside of the school gates. A documentary film was produced and shown at the Showroom cinema in Sheffield City Centre on 12th November 2010.

The Big Yellow Storage Company at Heeley was kind enough to supply us with a large amount of cardboard as a construction material, and have been enthusiastic supporters of the project in general. Without this support, our project would have taken a very different and less tangible form.

Please see the

  • Credits.

    School of Architecture.
    Thomas Atkinson
    Sam Brown
    Reza Fallahtafti
    Daniel Hall
    Amandeep Kaur
    Joao Lung
    Hannah O’Boyle
    David Pogson
    Ewan Tavendale
    Dan Walder
  • Coordination.
    Stephen Walker
  • Developer Blog.