Grand Finale at Gateway

 A big thank you to all those who came along to our most recent event at Victoria Gateway ‘Gateway Projections’ and made it a grand success. It was a pleasure working with the brilliant team of local specialists including Stuart Bowditch (http://www.stuartbowditch.co.uk/) who provided unique ambient music for the event.  

The event was a showcase of the design proposal for the public space at Victoria Gateway (outside Southend Victoria Station) and the community spirit and journey leading up to it.

Starting Tuesday, 8th April 2014, we were on site building a tower that soon became a landmark feature at the Gateway.

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Scaffold tower under construction at Victoria Gateway

The pupose of the tower was to house projectors at a certain height and angle that would allow us to project images on the floor at the Gateway. These images were made by the local community at our previous event in January and represented their vision for a people friendly community space at the Gateway. To make the tower more than just a tall piece of scaffolding we decided to wrap it in some white cling film and light it up form inside. A low tech-low cost intervention that required a lot of manual labour. We spent hours before be cracked the technique to doing it quickly and correctly!

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Scaffold tower wrapped in white cling film

 The structure was a great conversation starter and we already had curious passers-by engaging with us. We loved that!

Since May 2013 we have been running workshops/events and working together with local people, supporting the changes that you want to see and helping to make them happen.This collaborative process has led us to arrive at a design proposal for the public space at Victoria Gateway that we believe will help transform the area to a more vibrant and friendly place for everyone to enjoy equally. To exhibit this design and discuss with everyone the potential improvements this would bring, we put up the design corner and information point up on Wednesday, 9th April 2014. 

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Design corner and information point exhibiting the design proposal for public space at Victoria Gateway.

 What we saw there on was truly inspiring. We saw the community come together to discuss their town, to have fun, to chat with others and even volunteered to help us out with the running of the event!

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Lots of discussions and feedback inside at our design corner.

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School kids excited to see ideas they had contributed at our previous event being incorporated in the design proposal.

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Fun and active Southend!

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Our volunteerts Chris, Mervyn and Romana ‘s enthusiam was infectious. Mervyn who is a regular at our engagement sessions came to part take in the event but enjoyed meeting people so much that he ended up volunteering his time through the 7 days to help us out!

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We gained new friends and supporters!

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…..who brought more people to the event to talk about what is important to them.

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Great friendly atmosphere at the evnt with audiance building up for the structure to be lit up in the evening.

On Friday, 11th April, 2014 we lit the cling-film-covered-structure from inside with colourful lights and welcomed everyone to our ‘ gaget marquee’. Inside the gaget marquee we had Ipads that stored all the images representing visions for the gateway drawn by the community at our previous event .  Participants could choose from amongst 60-70 images stored to project on the floor. This allowed everyone to see and share ideas we collected from the public through the course of the project. These ideas shaped the design proposal that continued to be displayed in the design corner for reference and discussion.

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Everyone enjoying the lights and ambient music coming from the structure while seeing ideas being projected on the floor.

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Queuing up at our gaget marquee to select their favourite idea to be projected.

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Design corner stayed busy through till 10 pm as everyone came along to see the final designs and how the ideas projected had influenced them!

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Doing what a good public space does- bringing together people in the community.

We had such a successful evening on Friday that it brought many more people to the gateway over the weekend. There are so many active youngsters in Southend who are skillful cyclists, skateboarders, scooter riders etc. They added a whole new level of fun and life to the space over the weekend when we encouraged a friendly ‘show and share your skills with everyone’ session. This got everyone interested and we had people of all age groups joining in themselves, attempting to learn the tricks or just cheering and chatting with others.

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Show and share skills sessions with skaters, scooter riders and cyclists.

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Scooter riders sharing tricks with one another- inspiring!

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So, who did you travel to the event?

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Saturday evening at the event. Everyone chilling and having a chat while waiting for the projections to start.

Some spontanious fun at the vent with people of all ages joining in.

Some spontanious fun at the event with people of all ages joining in.

 Over the 5-7 days,  we received a lot of support and feedback from the community. So thank you! Looking forward to better and brighter tomorrow for everyone.

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To make our iconic tower truly the community’s, we had everyone leave a message on it!

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It gave the structure the personal touch!

Very encouraging feedback from the community!

Very encouraging feedback from the community!

Lots of positive feedback about the design!

Lots of positive feedback about the design!

 

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