The FOLKESTONOMY proposal in context

The Folkestone Triennial (FT) describes itself as an ambitious and innovative art project, and encourages invited artists to engage with the fabric of the city in order to produce temporary and permanent art projects. Amongst other aims, the FT wants to engage residents and visitors and to enrich the existing reality through new context related art projects.

FT is sited/commissioned within the wider context of Folkestone’s current regeneration plans and process. It is stated very clearly that the regeneration plans have creativity and the arts at its heard, and the arts are declared a key strategic instrument. Aims are to improve the public realm, to raise of educational attainment, to support employment growth and economic development, to tackle cause of social deprivation and to develop community identity.
The ethos of the culture lead regeneration is “to build from ground level” (Roger de Haan) and to be different from other culturally lead regeneration projects, which too often drive the arts out of regenerated areas, or sideline them once the large scale building projects move in.

The Making of Space:
Urban regeneration deals with a variety of spaces and spatial aspects, which is already well reflected in Folkestone’s current situation. On the one end of the spectrum is e.g. the new masterplan for the seafront by Foster and Partners that deals with the large scale context and the massing of spaces and programmes; on the other end are medium and small scale initiatives that re-generate existing spaces through cultural programmes, e.g. the Creative Foundation with its Creative Quarter initiative, or Strange Cargo who have produced numerous participatory public art projects for the town. The FT as a medium and possible long-term initiative will become a new producer of cultural, and probably physical space for Folkestone.

All those spaces and spatial proposals need to be acknowledged in their coexistence, and as a current debate within Urban Planning suggests, formal Masterplanning and Everyday Urbanism need to be considered equally when it comes to the making and shaping of new spaces. Transformation takes place long-term and large-scale, but it also happens on an everyday basis in conversations, small actions and changing perceptions.

We’re particularly interested in the social, cultural and physical space that is generated by cultural initiatives such as the FT and the meaning of this space within a regeneration context and the hierarchy of space.

How to connect ephemeral cultural space to urban design and masterplanning?

a public works project. site design and build by dorian