…launched in 2010, and facilitated by architecture staff in the School of the Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast. Street Society enables students and community representatives to work together to generate a new vision for their neighbourhoods.
“The Street Society students brought energy and skills that cannot be underestimated in their ability to impact the community clients. We were very impressed with the original solutions that the students produced in just one week”. LINSEY FARRELL, Programme Director, Urban Villages Initiative
Street Society 2017
The 2017 edition of Street Society took place 27 February – 03 March 2017. This year, as in 2016, we were again working in partnership with the Urban Villages initiative (UV) and local community organisations in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry. Over 100 Students from QUB were based in all five of the Urban Villages across the week.
Five masters students worked with the Street Society Team and Urban Village Initiative Team over a four month period, prior to the week. They met with a range of community members within each of the five urban villages to identity possible projects of interest to the community. The Masters students also identified locations for the students to work in and identified background research and resources needed. During the week of Street Society the students work in teams of 7 – 8 students, with each Street Society “office” sited directly within the community for the week, responding creatively to briefs set by community groups.
“Street Society is fundamentally a social way of learning for our students, where they are put into a situation which reflects real life practice and real life challenges which they have to overcome. Not only does the project bring the students together, it also brings the local community together, helping to build a better future for people to live, work and socialise.” – Professor Ruth Morrow.
The process places students and the interested community on the same level, with no hierarchy. Ideas, needs and aspirations are voiced, listened to and, with skill and youthful passion, translated into proposals. Over the last two years we have carried out evaluation of the project both during the week and six months later. The students’ work in Street Society cannot (and is not intended to) compete with practicing architects nor community consultation processes. Instead, the students – together with their clients – demonstrate and achieve in one week an enthusiasm for listening and learning, and an ability to visually capture ideas, releasing new potentials, new futures.