Clients of Crisis, the national homelessness charity, are currently building the ‘PROTOHOME’ on a site in the Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne. The building will launch as an exhibition and event space this Friday 13 May.
PROTOHOME was designed by local architecture firm xsite and is based on the Segal Method, a way of building specifically designed for untrained self-builders. Crisis clients have spent the last three months measuring, sawing, joining and sanding the building’s parts in a workshop before starting to put the structure together last week under the supervision of artist and researcher Julia Heslop and joiner Dean Crawford of Tilt Artistic Services.
Nyree Denney, a Crisis member working on the project, said: “This project is actually spilling over into the way I tackle, prepare or do anything: job applications, volunteering, business planning, my social activities, my living situation and my interactions with folk in each and any given setting.
“Being involved in a collective, community-based project like this allows real growth and change, and at a rapid pace to boot. Construction – solid, long-lasting, sustainable construction – involves tapping into both the individual and collective, collaborative skillsets and creativity.”
PROTOHOME launches in time for Newcastle’s Late Shows on 13th and 14th May and will remain open to the public until 31 July. It will house a series of talks, exhibitions, public forums, film screenings and artist residencies, all examining the collaborative design and build process while addressing wider issues concerning housing and homelessness.
Andrew Burnip, Director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle, said: “Our clients have flourished under the freedom the PROTOHOME project has given them. The agency and responsibility involved in building an entire structure from scratch has not only taught them valuable new skills, but has fostered a new sense of creativity and confidence. The transformation in many of them has been remarkable.”
PROTOHOME is a self-build housing project created by members of the homelessness charity Crisis. It opens to the public 13 May – 31 July 2016.
The ‘house’ will act as a flexible and changing space, hosting a series of exhibitions and events, from talks, to film screenings, workshops and artist’s residencies, examining the design-build process and looking at the themes of self-build housing, homelessness and the politics of land use and development.
For a full programme of events and for more information about the project visit: www.protohome.co.uk
Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. Their purpose is to end homelessness. For further information visit: www.crisis.org.uk
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