Year | 2012
Location | Sheffield, UK
Client | The GIST Foundation

The GIST (Grassroots Innovation Society Technology) Foundation was founded in 2010 and is a not-for-profit organization. It promotes knowledge through predominantly free technological meetings led by volunteers. Each meeting is representative of a ‘user group’, who span from software and programming languages, to more hardware based workshop meetings. Majority of the meetings are held in the GIST Lab which is situated in the Workstation building in the Cultural Industries Quarter of Sheffield. The organization also collaborates with bodies on certain events, such as the Festival of the Mind, held jointly with the University of Sheffield.

The Live project team developed a wide range of ideas and activities to increase their knowledge of GIST as an organization, its users and the space they inhabit. This included working in the space, attending events and meetings, and also interacting with the GIST community by running a SketchUp workshop. Posters, a blog, a twitter and a comment box were made to initiate and promote the project. The consultation process also included a questionnaire and individual interviews with users. Constructing an interactive 1:50 model were also a way of getting users to get involved with their space.

The project continuously evolved as the team learned more about the organization and its users. The initial idea of an active physical approach to this project e.g building furniture redesigning the website, increasing location presence were soon seen as inappropriate. It was realized that it was more important to engage with the users and initialize a process of involvement, to catalyze and revitalize an interest and sense of ownership about GIST and the space it inhabits.

This was the inception of the pair of events undertaken at the GIST lab. The event showcased a 1:10 model alongside an abundance of options for furniture, wall layouts, signage, entrances both existing and proposed. The intention is that the 1:10 model will continue to be used as a promotional tool and a way of maintaining communication and interaction with user groups to fully grasp what they want changed about the space to instigate change.

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