Year | 2023
Location | Goldthorpe, Barnsley
Clients | Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Young people from across Goldthorpe have collaborated with Sheffield University students on an exciting new online exhibition and townscape.

This year’s autumn fair saw a group of new faces set up stall in the embankment; students from Sheffield University were promoting the launch of a new ‘digital townscape’ they had created with young people across Goldthorpe. The ‘digital townscape’, designed in collaboration with young people at the Dearne IKIC centre, forms part of an online platform that showcases a body of work created by Goldthorpe’s youth all relating to themes of identity and place.

Architecture student Hope Cooney described the group’s aim to ‘show off the amazing work done by young people at the Dearne IKIC centre, as well as provide them with the opportunity to tell and share their stories through different and creative formats’. The project is part of an extended storytelling project that began in the summer of 2022. Part of this wider project was the establishment of a growing network of local creatives and artists who could work with the youth centre attendees to make their voices heard through a range of mediums. Over the summer of 2023, a series of workshops were held at the Dearne IKIC with a number of these artists, resulting in an exciting body of work all produced by the young people. The work spans across a range of media, from textiles to poetry to gaming. This most recent leg of the project was all about creating a platform to celebrate this work, all within a ‘digital townscape’ that would show a new side to Goldthorpe, giving a glimpse into the town through a young person’s eyes.

The website is a narrative journey; the user moves through an imaginary, funny, playful version of Goldthorpe as the young people see it. Along the way you encounter stories, visions, opinions and drawings, ending up at a showcase of all the joyful and honest works created by the young people. Using the website, it’s clear that this was created not for the youth, but by them.

“It was important to us that we collaborated with the young people on this, and really embody their vision of Goldthorpe in the townscape. After all, it’s their town, and they are the artists who made all the incredible work – it would have felt dishonest not to include them in the process”

Evie Dixon, Sheffield University Student

Seeing the students at the autumn fair, there is a palpable excitement about the website and all it has to offer. Visually, the website is full of joy and energy; a feeling that is mirrored in the way the students and young people alike speak about it. It shows a real connection to Goldthorpe, the stories, and the community. It is the result of a process that could be valuable to towns around Barnsley, really offering a celebration of a place, its history, and the people that live there.


Mentor: Anthony Powis
Client: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Location: Goldthrope, Barnsley
Students: Phoebe Bix, Timothy Girgis, Hope Cooney, Ioana Florescu, Chun Tse, Bareera Borhan, Evie, Dixon, Eleanor Moselle, Lauryn Thompson, Prajyot Ajaykumar Dugad, Xinhe Jiang, Zhiyi Song