REdGENERATION: A School's Enterprise Through Art Initiative
From April 2006, the School of Art and Design at the University of Salford entered into a partnership project with Albion High School (and a similar background project with Buile Hill High School). The origins of the concept are embedded within Fine Art practices and the projects utilise artists and their habits of enquiry and observation to foster and stimulate innovation and risk. The pilot project worked with pupils at the school to generate ideas for enterprise and, as part of the process, develop businesses to commercialise those ideas. The resultant group have named themselves ‘REdGENERATION’ and have resolved a model of practice for transfer to subsequent cohorts of learners within the same or similar school communities. The School and project is located within an area of Salford that has been clearly identified as a priority area for regeneration. The neighbourhood is recognised for a high incidence of social need and the Socio-Economic grouping given to the major population is low. There is a recent tradition of using the arts as a decorative tool in the process of physical renewal. More recently, the Fine Arts has been employed as a more experimental device, a means of developing an understanding of the area in readiness for developers and architects. This initiative develops the reach of the arts practitioner and draws their influence into the core of alternative educational projects. The initial enterprise project, 'REdGENERATION', have designed and manufactured a range of locally branded products that reflect the physical, social and economic environment relevant to the young people. Known collectively as FADE products the range includes; coloured false nails, nail varnish and shoelaces. All products utilise smart dyes that respond to sunlight and all products are branded by their colour which corresponds with the colours of the built environment.
Keywords: Art & Design, School Enterprise, Empowerment, Project Based, Kinaesthetic Learning. Action Learning Sets, Regeneration and Urban Renewal.
Prof. Paul Haywood
Lecturer, Adelphi Research Institute