Workshops Update

Photograph of a discussion group in York

We are now half way through our focus group workshops that are running across the country this autumn, with the next one in Manchester this Friday (27th Oct) and a further three in Newcastle, Bristol and London. Full details are available here if you haven’t had chance to book onto one yet:

The focus groups that we have held so far in York, London and Birmingham have had a good range of attendees form a wide variety of backgrounds and organisations, including: Local Authority Conservation Officers and HER Officers; Consultants; architects; local and national organisations/societies; and academics both individual and from Universities.

The focus groups are providing an opportunity to discuss what a knowledge exchange framework for the built historic environment might include, and how it could work; and we’ve already had lots of really good ideas and suggestions from attendees. We want to make sure that the framework that is developed through the project will be of benefit to everyone to in the sector, and the workshops are helping us to really focus in on what you need and what matters to you. They have also begun the knowledge exchange process, with plenty of discussion and sharing of ideas (and plenty of cake too!).

The workshops are being delivered as Open Space sessions, with topics for discussion being suggested on the day by attendees. Although the programme is the same each time, therefore, they have all been different with a wide range of topics having been discussed. These have included both the structure of the framework and how it might be used, managed and updated; and suggestions for building types or areas of work that might be added to the research agenda. These have included:

  • Whether frameworks are currently used and why
  • Moving away from the elite and special to consider buildings of ‘the poor and ordinary’
  • The potential structure of the HistBEKE framework
  • Resources and methods
  • Archaeology and buildings
  • Sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings, including long term results of conservation/repairs and impacts of retro-fit
  • Buildings associated with the labour movement, women’s suffrage and others pushing for social change
  • Building materials and crafts people
  • Recording, archiving and providing access to building information
  • Boundaries – should fixtures and fittings be included in the framework?
  • Security and data-protection
  • Exchanging current/ongoing research as well as what has recently been published
  • Utilities and infrastructure buildings
  • And many more!

We’re looking forward to yet more ideas and suggestions in Manchester on Friday, and once the workshops have come to end we will prepare a summary of the key outcomes that will be sent out to both attendees and those on our mailing list. If you haven’t joined the mailing list yet, please click here to sign up to it.

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