In Leeds city centre space is under pressure from wide spread gentrification. Coercive architecture with the specific aim of attracting temporary visitors to the city to shop, eat and drink is taking over from the small, historic spaces used by independent retailers and the city’s heritage is slowly disappearing.
As smaller organisations are forced out of mainstream spaces, they are instead operating within temporary spaces on short-term leases (approx. 5 years). These semi-nomadic creative organisations are part of a new movement. Many are community driven with the needs of local residents at the centre of their work. Their success will depend on the strength of connection they build with their user groups as they will need to take their users with them with them each time they are forced to relocate.
The concept of ‘welcome’ is central to this process, as working within temporary spaces, means they are frequently located in non-central, sometimes quite hidden, locations, that may not be widely known to the general public.
‘Welcome In’ will attempt to transform the entrance/ doorway/ threshold of six temporary spaces in Leeds. Encouraging people into the spaces and supporting the growth of social interaction within them. Students will meet with each organisation, visit the space and work together to devise ideas for how the welcoming function of these doorways could be improved or reinvented.
Doors are physical objects that establish tangible boundaries (Holl, Steve 2009?), opening and closing on new experiences or familiar places. Some separate the inside from the outside, some divide internal spaces, they all involve human action and interaction and have an impact on the user’s sense of space. These objects act as barriers between spaces and it is this concept that we would like students to play with.