Big Meet 8

18 April 2018, London

‘Cultural placemaking can shape the fortunes of our regions, cities towns and villages. We want more local leaders to grasp the potential of culture to achieve their vision for their community, and to put culture at the forefront of their strategies’.

© The Government Cultural White Paper, 2016

About Big Meet 8: Artists and the Arts in Place-Making

Big Meet 8 shared examples that demonstrate the range of models of practice in the field of Art and Place from across the UK; Investigated artists led approaches to engaging with place through temporary interventions and local authority initiatives to work with communities; developers support for cultural place making; while framing the wider issues of how cultural led placemaking can have a sustainable impact on the development of a place and its communities.

Launch of a Manifesto for the Arts in Place

The Arts & Place Working group has published a Manifesto which has 10 principal aims for the renaissance of the arts in place and creativity. This document is seen as a call for radical change and is  focusing on fostering the creativity in the society.

The Hive by Wolfgang Buttress, 2016, Kew Gardens

Panel Discussions & workshops

The impact of arts on people and place were discussed in a lively panel discussion chaired by James O’Leary and featuring Wolfgang Buttress, Michael Pinsky and Diane Dever. Later on the components that make successful art in place were identified in a collaborative group workshop.

Launch of Place Value Wiki

Art in place forms part of a wider agenda around ensuring quality  placemaking and hence the launch of the Place Alliance’s Place  quality Wiki. The aim of the wiki is to promote the diversity and  richness of quality places and the individual experiences associated  with this.

Featured Talks & Speakers

Place Alliance is thankful to all Big Meet speakers for being so generous with their time.

We really appreciate the involvement and we are grateful for the time and effort speakers took to share their thoughts and experiences with all our Supporters.

We hope that they enjoyed contributing and have gained further insight from the experience.

Dr. Anita McKeown

NAISC Skelling Kerry Diaspora Network Fellow , SMARTlab IDRC University College Dublin


Anita highlighted the importance of having a range of methods to  evaluate projects. Using projects as the research basis, it was found that none had an environmental policy/statement and thus big issues were being ignored. Hence the desire to create a more ethical method for assessment participation: a tool which could be supportive, non-formulaic and adaptive and well as agile enough to allow for  self-organisation within communities (inside-out, not top-down).

McKeown’s emergent model identified 4 building blocks which systematised ecological design, culture, policy and strategic intervention. The model utilised permaculture, i.e. situated practice. The model offered a number of stages which prompted users to engage in multiple narratives and ultimately progressed users towards evaluation (i.e. which direction to follow) and implementation (including project maintenance and exit strategy).

Michael Pinsky



Michael drew attention to ‘The City Speaks’ project in Hull. This was initially comprised of a range of permanent integrated works, as well as a temporary project using speech to text technology. 

The work is still in situ and the text is being collected and used by other artists. Other projects identified included ‘Pollution Pods’.

Adriana Marques

Head of Cultural Strategy for Thamesmead at Peabody


Peabody is one of London’s largest housing associations and has double the amount of green space than any other residential area of London. The size of Thamesmead is planned to double utilising a mix of architectural typology.

Marques started conversations with local residents and organisations to find out what already existed with a view to creating a legacy through  the establishment of partnerships and relationships. Initial work comprised the integration of cultural strategy into an existing delivery  plan (culture now has its own strand and budget within reframed strategy): it is hoped this will facilitate changed perceptions.

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