This summer, London-based interdisciplinary design collective RESOLVE will transform the gallery at S1 Artspace into a "living archive" that reveals and records our emotional responses to the city. The Garage is a major new commission and series of public events that considers the ways in which our built environment affects us, and how we, in turn, affect it.
Collaborating with students from Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield College and residents from the local neighbourhood supported by Manor and Castle Development Trust, RESOLVE will design and build a modular structure from which a series of public events will be hosted. The Garage takes its title from the original function of the building where S1 Artspace is currently based – the former garage block at the centre of the Park Hill estate – in recognition of building’s communal, transient and semi-public former use.
Thinking through the ways in which our cities are recorded, remembered and understood, the project will create an intuitive map of Sheffield through the lived experiences of its citizens to explore the ways in which the city enables or inhibits us, and what the potential might be to transform it. Beyond the city’s physical, political, financial and environmental infrastructures, is an alternative shared landscape of emotions, memories and perceptions – the living archive of the city.
The installation will use principles of upcycling and accumulation in the construction of this living archive, to explore the ways in which different materials and techniques can articulate how our built environments make us feel. RESOLVE will draw on the work of Atta Kwami, Theaster Gates and Ola Dele-Kuku, combining eclectic design precedents with the reuse and reappropriation of materials to reflect an approach to their work which RESOLVE refer to as "heurism" – problem-solving based on the most practical, immediate methods – as well as speaking to their own cultural identities as African diaspora.
A series of public events will draw out the ways in which we inhabit our neighbourhoods, buildings and cities, and encourage us to rethink and reimagine these places in response to the increasing lack of social infrastructure and free civic space. With more public spaces demanding a transaction to participate, The Garage proposes a model for other ways of being "in public" that enable us to collectively own and contribute to the vibrant cultural life of our cities.