Church Eaton village sign workshop 1

Category: Education

Presentation Description

A video introducing a participatory design process for rural communities. It is focused on co-development of a new village sign. Amongst other things, it also shows that not all village signs look like pictures on poles.


Presentation Transcript

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A new village sign Church Eaton has been given a grant to create a design for a new village sign. Today, we would like your help to understand what people think of Church Eaton. What people, places and events do you associate with the village? You will also be able to see different types of village sign. They are there to stimulate your thinking about the village and the role that village signs play. If you see one that you don’t like, just try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who would like it. In stage two, your thoughts and ideas will be turned into several designs, each reflective of village values. We’ll ask what you think of them. With your help, we will then develop a single design, representative of the whole village, that can be turned into a real village sign. Slide 2 of 16

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The design process Slide 3 of 16 Thinking about the village, not the design Developing several different designs and exploring/ merging them Choosing a finished design

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Question 1: what does a scarecrow look like? Slide 4 of 16

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And what do local people look like? 5 Slide 5 of 16

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SO what should our VILLAGE sign look like? Slide 6 of 16

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Option one: should it be traditional? Although people think that village signs have been around forever, they are actually quite recent in origin. Up until the 19th century, most people didn’t travel much and so there wasn’t much need for signs telling them where they were. In the early 1800s, village signs became popular all over the UK at the same time and so they tended to use the same conventions – a name and a symbol on a pole. One question is: should we follow the same conventions, or go for something a bit different? Slide 7 of 16

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Elements of traditional village signs A traditional village sign might focus on a historic building, or a famous person, or food, or an event. Some are humorous, others are very formal What people, symbols or words do you associate with Church Eaton? Slide 8 of 16

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Option two: or maybe it could focus on the pole? Some signs stand out because of how they look. In this case, the pole is more important than the sign itself. Village signs don’t have to be located at the entrance to the village; this one is in the middle of a park. Where would you put our village sign? Slide 9 of 16

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What about a totem pole? This village sign tells the history of the tribe over many generations. Church Eaton has changed a lot since it was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086! What characters and events would you record on a Church Eaton totem pole? Slide 10 of 16

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Option three: it could make a point This village sign has become so famous that when the house was knocked down they kept the wall. It shows that village signs can serve as ‘keep out’ notices. They say ‘this is our place’. Some signs ask people to drive slowly or keep the village tidy. Is there anything that you would like to keep out of Church Eaton? Slide 11 of 16

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Option four: it could be contemporary London’s ‘village sign’ is based on typography rather than pictures. Instead of focusing on a historic figure or building, like Parliament or St Paul’s, they focused on an attitude – being switched ON. What do you think of Church Eaton? Are we a switched on village? How would you describe us? Slide 12 of 16

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Or maybe it could move? The ‘Space Signpost’ in Bristol can turn and point to any known planet, star or comet in the universe. It can point to exactly where Halley’s Comet is right now, and tell you how far away it is. Imagine if a village sign could point to any location in the world! Where would you ask it to point to? Slide 13 of 16

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The ultimate village sign? While village signs are good at telling you about places, they are not so good at telling us about events. This imaginary village sign is solar powered and controlled by computers. Digital messages scroll along the arms, which automatically point in different directions throughout the day. The sign tells you about things like pub quizzes and dances as well as how to get to Gnosall. What information would you like the village sign to tell you about? Slide 14 of 16

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Option five: youth Traditional village signs appeal to the ‘over 40s’ much more than to other age groups. Yet over half the people who live in the village are under 40. The young person’s equivalent of a village sign is a ‘tag.’ These are seen as exciting, vibrant, colourful and cultural. Not everyone agrees! Could we create a village sign that appeals to all ages? What would it look like? Slide 15 of 16

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Would you like to help us design a new village sign? A new village sign might be traditional, or it might be modern. It might be rigid, or it might have moving parts. What do you think it should look like? We’d like to create a village sign that is representative of the whole community. That’s why we’ve created a display showing lots of different options. Please consider each of them separately. We are also looking for volunteers from all over the village, and of all different ages, to design the new village sign. If you would like to get involved, please write your name on the sheet by the door. THANK YOU Slide 16 of 16

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