an approach to people, place and space

Animated photos


We have been working with many different communities through practice and research since 1999, and these are some of the projects:

Aberdeenshire Council funded project, Scotland, UK (2010)

Joint Consultants with ARC Scotland (Association of Real Change) and PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society) for a Service User and Carer Participation, Involvement and Qualitative performance feedback project. The project was commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council and commenced in March 2010 with project completion and findings to be produced in July 2010.arc pamis logos





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Foundation Stage Unit (2009)

School Grounds Improvement Project, as part of the Leverhulme Trust funded research.

Participation with the school community using a range of methods, including self directed sound and photography, drawings, and conversations: “Revealing Now, Wish and Future Worlds”.

Change affected in the following ways:

  • Support staff empowerment.
  • Administrative staff appreciation of different perspectives.
  • Children empowerment and inclusion– desire to continue to have a voice.
  • Issues and Concepts taken forward for developing environmental improvements.
  • Second Phase project commenced March 2010.
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“What’s the fuss we want the bus!” (2009)

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this research aimed to bring together the community and policy makers to make changes that will improve people’s experiences as well as act as a means of empowerment.

Participatory methods: Discussion workshops, bus trips to town, sounds, images, drawing workshops, self directed interviews and an animated film.


  • Policy recommendations for the 2009 Sheffield City Council Mobility Strategy.
  • South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, First South Yorkshire and Stagecoach Sheffield (practitioner training, further transport projects/issues).
  • Community empowerment and cohesion through participation and sharing experiences.
  • Consultant to the Learning Disability Advice Project Stearing Group, Sheffield City Council.
  • Joint Consultants for 2010 Aberdeenshire Council funded project, Scotland, UK.
Photo of participants Project DVD cover
Download Bus Findings pdf Watch the animation Hide the animation

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“Excuse me I want to get on!” (2008)

Six month (KTOF funded) research collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Mencap that aimed to empower people with learning disabilities to access the Supertram safely and make explicit good practice.

Participation produced a DVD documentary film of four participants travel experiences.

Photo of participants condutcing interview Findings booklet cover
Download EMIWTGO Guide pdf

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Learning Disability Day Service Centre, Sheffield (2004-2006)

Participation with adults with learning disabilities to explore their experiences of public open spaces throughout South Yorkshire. The research focused upon development of methods that did not rely upon written or verbal communication.

Participatory visual communication methods included: site visits, photo-elicitation interviews, drawing workshops and canvas production for public exhibitions.

Key references:

  • Mathers, A. (2008) Hidden Voices: the participation of people with learning disabilities in the experience of public open space. Doctoral Thesis, University of Sheffield, UK.
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Development of a participatory approach for primary school children to reveal their place experiences (2005 - 2007)

Research with 68 children from 3 schools across Yorkshire and the North East of England.

Participatory methods included: discussions, drawing NOW and WISH, adaptive photo-elicitation and the development of an evaluation coding method.

Key references:

  • Simkins, I. M. (2008) The Development of the Insight Method: a participatory approach for primary school children to reveal their place experiences. Doctoral Thesis, University of Sheffield, UK.
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Learning Disability Further Education College, Northumberland (2006)

Participation with college students looking at a variety of local environments across the region as part of their course work.

Site visits, drawing workshops and public art exhibitions.

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Rural Village, Yorkshire (2005)

Participation with the village community to reveal its identity to contribute to the village design statement.

Working with 10% of the village community in workshops, using: semi-structured interviews, walks and experiential landscape mapping in evaluation and representation.

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Milan, Italy (2005)

Four day workshop, working with International Post Graduate students as part of an EUSF funded course to reveal place issues of a neighbourhood.

Methods included: walks, presentations, discussions, teaching experiential mapping techniques and student presentation of their findings.

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North Yorkshire High School (2004)

Participation with students to create design proposals for improving an area of their school grounds.

Three day workshops working with 58 students using a range of methods including: conversations, word pictures, concepts, drawing design ideas, walks and presentation of ideas.

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North Yorkshire and the North East of England (1999 - 2003)

Participation with school communities to develop and implement designs for school grounds improvements.

Working in Primary schools and a nursery school developing methods and approaches of inclusion in the process of design.

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