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Urban Design and the Creative Arts

Potential Users: Urban Design Professionals, Local Authorities
When to use: the Exploration stage of the Urban Design Decision-Making Process


VivaCity2020 worked closely with two artists in residence on the project, Helen Bendon and Jessica Thom. These artists provided an alternative insight into the issues of sustainability and the urban experience of city users and residents which demonstrated a unique insight for the project. Bendon and Thom also provided a cultural and creative perspective to our understanding of being in a city, engaging the public with a subject which could otherwise be seen as uninspiring.


Helen Bendon is a UK based artist who exhibits internationally. She works mainly with video and photography and her work has been shown at international festivals and screening events. Helen collected both historical and contemporary stories from Clerkenwell and used them as a basis for personal narratives, culminating in three short films, Cheek By Jowl, Skirting, and Flight.


Jessica Thom is also based in the UK and uses photography to explore our environment: how it is seen and experienced. Jessica has exhibited all over the UK and was awarded the Hooper's Award in 2005. Using a huge collection of photographs of Clerkenwell and Manchester used by the VivaCity2020 research, Jessica analysed the content of each photograph and represented the most numerous and significant features of public spaces. The featured example here represents the number of hanging baskets found in the photographs.

Artist-Hanging Baskets



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