Growing (in) Todmorden is a group of twelve postgraduate students from the MArch Architecture and MA Architectural Design courses at the Sheffield School of Architecture, formed under the ‘Live Project’ unit and working with ‘Incredible Edible Todmorden’, a group of activist-volunteers promoting locally grown food through community action.
As part of a research commission into the topic of ‘food commons’ we have:
- conducted a review into the current literature available on the subject of commons,
- conducted an investigation into existing ‘food commons’ throughout the world,
- made connections with the people in the locality of the project,
- hosted a two day workshop on behalf of the ‘Eco-Nomadic School’, an organisation concerned with the mutual learning and teaching of eco-civic practices in different regions of Europe, involving participants of diverse ages and social and cultural backgrounds.
During the workshop, prior research conducted by us, the students of Live Project o4, was tested and developed, drawing from the experiences of participating organisations and individuals. Knowledge co-produced during the workshop was recorded in drawn form, and disseminated via postcards, befitting the dispersed character of the Eco Nomadic School network.
A ‘You can say Yes’ compendium – prepared as one of the outcomes of the research project – is concerned with commons in both its material dimensions (food) and immaterial ones (knowledge, skills, languages, practices). It is hoped that this resource will inspire those who are concerned with the origin of their food to become actively engaged with its production, as well as encourage discussions and cooperation between local people and larger institutions such as committees and councils through highlighting the value of publically managed projects.