Growth Project - Project Overview
Within the last two years, the general economy has taken a rapid decline as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Companies were faced with the concept of rapidly modernising their customer experience to accommodate for this lack of physical interaction as face to face interaction became a health issue in the current climate. Whilst it streamlined certain aspects of our culture from a capital stand point, with the introduction of 'Working From Home' becoming the new in thing, there has now become a larger more looming threat that has the potential of living long past this current pandemic, that being the desire to keep and maintain this idea of over the phone communication.
The issue with this becoming a higher priority in the general marketplace now is that a key element of the living experience dwindles down into an artificial shell of itself. Human interaction is a key component in maintaining a positive social life, as well as positively effecting your mental health, so without it (or in a reduced manner), the general attitude of the public starts to shift as this fundamental social aspect. By being deprived of real physical interaction, isolation starts to kick in. This breaking away of people starts to create a decline in mental health and thus begins the decline of the general attitude towards the world at large. By separating from the world, the issues at large that effect us on a daily basis as a society start to appear as alien and not of immediate threat. The wall between our space and that of others start to feel like two utterly disconnected entities. This lack of community that feels so pivotal in maintaining a grip to reality of the world around us starts to crumble and fade.
As well as this, the COVID-19 Pandemic also shifted the attitude of Art as a whole. Governments took time to reflect on what they thought was really essential in maintaining our economy and our society, leading to a noticeable slash of funding within Art Institutions. Companies shifted towards these more handmade aesthetics that seemed to shout smaller budgets. Our own government also dissuaded us from pursuing jobs in the Art Sector, rather telling us to find jobs that 'mattered' and were more employable. But as the first world starts to steer itself out of the fog of the pandemic, there becomes a social desire to return to the way things were, to a time when face to face was the normal, to renovate the building blocks of a functioning society with a new coat of paint. Albeit, with less of a budget this time.
This is what the Growth project in theory aims to do, to create an accessible wellbeing centre in the heart of Huddersfield that would aim at putting an emphasis on face to face communication, looking at bringing young people from all backgrounds into one collective space. The Growth Project's space focuses on providing comfort and support to those who need it, as well as acting as a hub for the social arts, bringing in a collective of Huddersfield's artists and designers to one spot that can allow them to effectively communicate their ideas.