Enabler dialogues: ‘How can design create/enable places of value?’

Glass-House Enablers Vera Hale and Liz Kessler attended our first Enabler Dialogue session at our office in November to discuss ‘How can design create/enable places of value?’

The session’s question came out of the Glasgow debate where Christopher Rowe, Church of Scotland minister and resident of Glasgow, responded to the question ‘How can great places create value for local people?’.

His response was both powerful and moving.  He touched upon the:

– impact that the built environment has on the well-being and health of people;

– different perceptions and definitions of value (activity, amenity, beauty, culture, education, jobs and recreation);

– definitions of place as well as the impact and role that the idea, creation, use and disuse of place has alongside the different things that can enhance the development and process.

The discussion took a natural path that explored many interesting themes and questions.

– A need for a holistic approach to both community and design

– The maintenance of a place and the social benefits to the ‘personnel’ element of maintaining a place

– Having opportunities for activity and a feeling of safety in a place

– Creating the right brief and working with communities

– The reality of different values (aesthetic, economic, community, market, political and social)

– Design enabling and helping to foster identity, a sense of pride, connections and belonging in a place

– Are a sense of place and a sense of space the same thing?

– Are collective memories possible to create, particularly when there are both transient and permanent communities?

The next Enabler Dialogue session in January will be exploring the role of designer in placemaking.  Follow our blog feed via Twitter to stay in touch.