Year | 2016
Location | Star House, Division Street, Sheffield
Client | Emma Aley, Sheffield Futures
The Future Forum Live Project team have been working with Sheffield Futures to help redesign the ground floor of Star House, their home on Division Street in Sheffield.
Sheffield Futures are an independent charity providing services for vulnerable young people, aged between 16-25. They support people with a range of issues, including emotional and mental health, sexual exploitation, housing and employment. By delving into and understanding Sheffield Futures role in helping guide young people with various issues by working in residence, we also began to reflect on our own position and the implications of high stress on “young people’s” mental state.
Mental health in education and schools of architecture continues to be a major talking point. This has led to students and tutors alike re-evaluating the processes of learning and significantly, the importance of design interventions we can make as architects. Our environments must be used to heal not hinder, understanding those affected is key to the success of those spaces.
Sparking a design project focused around participation and co-designing with the users of Star House, a collaborative design process was consistently developed over the six week period. Tailored workshop deliverance and the creation of a neutral environment were used to consistently communicate that all opinions were valued, 107 hours of participation were logged with over 200 people. This allowed all to play a part in co-designing and establishing a foundation for designing with mental health suffers.
The cyclical process of; participation, analysis, design, was used to inform architectural design and develop constant improvements to the engagement exercises in tandem. No design decisions were made without participation and all outcomes were fully co-designed with the young people, staff and multi-agencies that use Star House.
Alongside the Brief and Feasibility Report that collates a series of initial design options derived from our participatory research, we are handing over our participation cookbook that summarises all our engagement analysis and a branding guideline document that explores existing branding, application, and future development alongside the graphic criteria for the new YIACS service. This collated handover document for both Sheffield Futures and the succeeding architect, passes on our knowledge and lessons learnt. To further aid the continuation of an engaged design process we are handing over the participatory tools used over this project in the form of our self built boards, free cafe and ‘Segal Method’ model.
We hope the succeeding architect values the foundation of co-designing we have created at Star House and further uses participation as a tool to engage users as the project develops.