On Tuesday 26th September, Alastair and I presented the two finalised designs for the Brereton Community Space. Over the two weeks I’ve been reflecting on the experience and contemplating the next stages of this project.

A big thank you to everyone that attended the meeting, it was a real pleasure and a big relief that both designs generated enthusiastic discussion and positive interest. I was conscious it was the first time these ideas had been shared outside the immediate team, and it was a big ask for people to take in the information and consider a decision in a short space of time. I had hoped that my previous blog entries and the various links to sources and lectures, along with the Pinterest page would help people have some background context. Of course I can always be contacted on Twitter @Burnip80 and remember to use #BreretonStoryPost

Creative work can sometimes be a strange experience. You generate the ideas from your head, and sometimes they feel perfect, arriving fully formed and you’re full of confidence. Then there are times you spend agonising over details, making difficult choices and creative sacrifices, like solving a strange multi-faceted puzzle. When creating, I also try to push away any unnecessary concerns of manufacture or practical restrictions as that can affect and prematurely restrict ideas before you develop them. It seems like I’ve been sketching and researching and modelling and thinking about these ideas since forever, and yet sharing them to the public, you never know what reception or feedback you might get. There’s always some something you weren’t aware of or a perspective you hadn’t considered, but I was pleased it seemed everyone there really ‘got it’ and appreciated what these designs were aiming to achieve and the experience we want to create.

A big part of the modelling development came with the assistance of Duggie Reid, an undergraduate student at Manchester School of Art, who provided support with 3D modelling using Fusion 360 software. I initially started experimenting with modelling foam and with clay, which were great for the early stages when you could get rough shapes to see forms develop. Model making isn’t my specialism and it would require a very high level of technique and expertise to create the kind of perfect geometry I was envisioning. Working with Duggie, I would send sketches, Photoshopped mock-ups, notes, and he would make these designs appear in digital form. He sends me a URL link and from my web browser I can see the design in 3D space, I can rotate it to any angle, zoom in see the design from any perspective. Duggie’s 3D models allowed us to 3D print the models in plastic, using facilities at MMU Digital Innovation building.

It would be fantastic to get the funding so a fabricator could manufacture the chosen design professionally, however it was great to hear people at the meeting who had experience with metalwork and could help us with advice to bring material costs down if we had to go down that route. That’s one of the great things about community related projects, you never know who has a wealth of knowledge that can help or solve issues.

I haven’t had any further information since the presentation, so at this moment I don’t know which one will be selected. One of the designs will be realised and the other will remain only in 3D printed plastic and Photoshopped mock-up. When the decision is made, these designs will no longer be ‘mine’ and will belong to the Brereton community. That’s the way it should be if the design is truly successful, in a modest way like how figures of ‘Another Place’ (1997) by Antony Gormley or a Lowry painting belong to the place and to everyone.

Main photo: Edmund Keefe, 3D Print Manager at MMU prepares one of our designs for 3D printing


Gary Nip
Twitter @Burnip80

Tweet us @BreretonLife and use the hashtag #BreretonStoryPost