Year | 2012
Location | Sharrow, Sheffield, UK
Client | Regather
Regather is a trading co-operative based in the Sharrow area of Sheffield, established in 2010 by a core group who share a commitment to co-operative values. Regather’s mission is to “help people work together, support each other, trade their goods and services and make projects happen”. Currently Regather is based in the ‘Horn Handle Works’ building, a Grade II listed manufacturing works and an important part of Sheffield’s industrial heritage.
Live Project 03 explored the brief by revealing the importance of underlying themes of co-operative working, interconnectedness and mutual responsibility. The group recognised that the building was a key asset and our focus was to unlock it’s potential and help Regather expand their co-operative business.
Our work focused on three key areas; designs for the building and surroundings, promotion of the building heritage, and raising awareness for Regather’s (re)launch as part of the “Co-Operation for Positive Social Change in Sheffield” event.
Through working in a studio space at Regather Works we researched the functionality of the building, the nature of its use and the activities of the traders, and gained an insight into the pace and direction to which the business is growing.
Further community consultations were undertaken in addition to the day-to-day understanding of the co-operative practices; the ‘coffee morning’ allowed us to engage with the local community and understand what their aspirations for a community co-operative would be. The “coffee morning” also helped to promote Regather’s launch event.
Our exploration culminated as a package of proposals and aspirational ideas which Regather can implement in the short, medium or long term and fit into their framework of sustainable growth. Each proposal explores a specific scenario based upon current or future trader activities, proposing interventions that range from the small to the large scale. Throughout the project, the team gained an insight into how a local trading co-operative operates and the networks created between Regather’s members. This heavily informed our approach to the various design scenarios, cross-referencing and connecting them, as well as linking the building into the wider community.