Hi, I’m Maree and I’m currently studying a
degree in Interior Design. This presentation is the pitch I used for my initial concept
for my major work. So I started off the semester researching the idea of the Odyssey Generation
which was a subgroup from the Y Generation. I then used this focus group as a way to look
into this idea of social belonging. So I investigated the idea of social networking, the idea of
a virtual blogging email and I then looked at our need to feel connected with other people.
So I then developed this research topic into trying to decide on a need. So I looked into
field research as the basis of developing this need through observation and interview.
So I then came up with my initial problem which is that we now live in a world of weak
ties. So we’re drowning in this sea of online social networking, making us disconnected
and more alone than ever. We have no virtual for any physical connection so, as tribal
beings, we can only maintain so many connections and we now have the ability to up and leave
at virtually any moment. So as individuals and as social beings, we
always want to feel that we need to have face to face connection with others. We demand
certain connections in order to see our friends all the time and we want to be bound to that
by community in order to fee that we have a cohesive place to live and work.
So I had a missing link and that was the idea that we don’t have a cohesive community. I
used this need in order to build this community in order to develop stronger relationships
and to build a new kind of community experience. It was from this initial problem that I introduced
the concept, Click. So Click fills this link. It is a physical space in order to provide
a partnership between students, staff and the wider community. So community groups with
the need, regardless of what it is and whether it be an advertising campaign or a marketing
plan, come to Click and the uni students and staff will help facilitate their needs.
It was about providing a link to a set of groups in order to provide a cohesive whole.
So I used Click and I made it for Sydney Uni and Sydney Uni had a need: they wanted to
make their ties with the community stronger. They wanted to engage in social, cultural
and political life; they wanted a context for their students to go out into the wider
community. So I found that Click would be the answer to this.
So Click’s vision is this idea of a world of belonging, the idea of connections with
one another more physical as opposed to virtual and the redevelopment of a new community.
They value knowledge, empowerment and resources and they value obviously the community. So
Click was adapted on the model of UTS Shopfront. UTS Shopfront already exists and it’s a space
for UTS students and staff to come together and work for community groups. Some projects
in the past have been reconciliation projects, finance plan, advertising campaigns and I
wanted to use this model but adapt it for the Sydney Uni community. But instead of it
just being an organisation, I wanted to make it a lifestyle. I wanted to gain greater awareness
for this model and I wanted it to be a holistic service offered to all community groups, all
students and all staffs. So Click provides this new community centre,
an experience between work and play. I wanted it to be the redevelopment of a new social
hub and the development of new partnerships. So the Click process is a combination of connection
between the student, the staff and the community in order to provide this idea of networking
and this idea of coming together. So firstly, I, the student, the weak tie,
the one that wants to make a difference to the world, I want to develop myself in the
community in order to provide future possibilities for what I want to do with my life. Then we
have we, the student and staff, so it’s this initial connection between the Sydney Uni
student and the Sydney Uni staff. There is some exchanging of goods, some exchanging
of ideas but it’s this initial development and support that then leads to the idea of
us, the community where the students and staff collaborate, develop relationships with the
wider community in order to fulfil the community’s needs regardless of what project it could
be. So I wanted to model Click in the Sydney suburb
of Newtown; Newtown being the perfect location as it has a diverse range of subgroups. It’s
a suburb that never really sleeps; it has so many bars, so many restaurants and with
so many subgroups, they always want it to feel connected. Newtown is also the ideal
location as in that it’s close to Sydney Uni itself but also close to Sydney Uni Village,
the housing for all its students. So in order to make sure that my concept was
perfect, I had to look at what else was already available. Newtown does have a few community
centres: it has a Brown Street community centre, a café and a neighbourhood centre. They are
quite limited in who they’re targeted for. So the community café is mainly for vegans
and vegetarians while the Brown steet/Newtown neighbourhood centre mainly has things for
AA addicts. So I wanted to make Click available to all. I wanted it not to be so plain, so
conventional and boring: I wanted it to be more of an experience and more fun really.
So I made Click site specific to Trocadero which is on King Street. The site hasn’t been
used for quite a while and it was ideal because its original use was as an entertainment venue.
And I wanted Click to further this and make it the transformation of this new building.
It’s a perfect location in that it backs right onto Sydney Uni housing. So Click is a twofold
space – one which is work – in order to facilitate these connections. So it will be a work environment
that’s collaborative, adaptable, really transparent so that the community group can just come,
students and staff work together. But then I wanted it to be this kind of twofold
so that the work environment just spills out into the leisure and fun. And I wanted it
to be this idea of Click as play. So it will have a hospitality precinct where people can
come together, discuss over a drink, over food but also this idea of Click as an expression
for the community. So maybe a place to hold function centres, a place for art events,
movie previews. So where will Click take us? It’s a community
of the future; it’s ultimately to move away from weak ties and to build a new idea of
social belonging. I wanted my interior space not only to develop a new experience but ultimately
to be a new interior idea. Thank you.