Catalysing Community Lab

Catalysing Community Lab
Three day residency @ 101 Outdoor Arts
22 - 24 November 2023
£80 Including meals and accommodation

Artists co-creating with communities in outdoor spaces.

Following the Creating Together Symposium at 101 on the 21st November there will also be an opportunity for artists to take part in this three day intensive residential lab to explore the topic in more detail through a combination of discussion and practical workshop activities led by Chris Rolls of public engagement specialists Collective Sense.

Who is this for?
This workshop is aimed at professional artists, producers or commissioners with an interest in producing co-created outdoor work.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from individuals who are likely to be underrepresented in this area of work.

101 Outdoor Arts is an accessible venue. We have accessible parking bays, accommodation, rehearsal spaces and WC facilities. The Lab content can be captioned or signed, audio described and learning resources are available in large print.

Please tell 101 Outdoor Arts what support would enable you to fully participate in this opportunity when completing your application.

Image credit: St Paul's Carnival - photo David Tidman

Day 1: Setting the Scene

Session 1: Understanding Community Engagement (Morning)

● Welcome: schedule, housekeeping, group learning agreement

● Introduction to the significance and impact of community engagement in outdoor art projects: participatory design principles and methodologies

● The benefits and challenges of co-creating with community groups - discussion

● Case studies and examples (incl. participants’ own) of successful community collaborations

Activity 1: Icebreaker and Community & Ecology Mapping (Afternoon)

● Getting to know eachother activity to foster connections and create a supportive learning environment

● Community & Ecology mapping exercise to identify participants’ local community groups: their interests, needs, and resources - ‘layers visualisation’

Session 2: Effective Communication and Collaboration (Afternoon)

● Techniques for deep listening and inclusive communication with community members

● Strategies for building trust and establishing meaningful relationships

● Exploring cultural sensitivity and inclusivity in artistic collaborations

Activity 2: Role-Play and Dialogue Circles (Afternoon)

● Role-playing scenarios to practice inclusive communication competencies

● Workshop: diialogue circles to encourage open and respectful conversations among participants

Day 2: Co-Creating in Outdoor Spaces

Session 3: Understanding Outdoor Art (Morning)

● Exploring specific challenges and opportunities of creating art in outdoor spaces

● Discussing different mediums and techniques suitable for outdoor environments

● Safety considerations and permits for public art installations: assessing risks

Activity 3: Case study analysis: Environmental Scanning of 5 projects* (Morning)

● Five teams explore the layers of 5 different (successful) participatory outdoor arts projects.

● Environmental scanning exercise to assess the context, cultural heritage, and environmental paradigms of the selected projects.

● Group presentations: share back of the interplay of identified layers (social, economic, physical, conceptual, aesthetic, etc.) Discussion

Session 4: Participatory Design Process (Afternoon)

● Introduction to participatory design principles and methodologies

● The role of artist(s) as facilitator(s) in collaborative design processes

● Tools and techniques for engaging community members in the design phase

Activity 4: Design Prototyping (Afternoon)

● Conducting a ‘design charrette’ to prototype ideas collaboratively in a time-limited scenario.

● Group work and brainstorming activities to develop preliminary concepts for outdoor art projects

● Sharing

Day 3: Catalysing Participation

Session 5: Project Planning and Implementation (Morning)

● Developing a project plan and timeline for outdoor art projects

● Budgeting, resource allocation, and securing necessary permissions

● Managing logistics and coordinating with community partners

Activity 5: Project Simulation (Morning)

● Fishbowl: Simulating a co-creation project implementation scenario: different roles assigned to participants (observers feed back)

● Addressing challenges and decision-making within the context of a simulated project

Session 6: Reflection and Evaluation (Morning)

● Importance of reflective practice and continuous learning in community-based art projects

● Methods for evaluating the impact of art on communities

● Developing strategies for post-project engagement and sustainability

Activity 6: Reflective Journaling and Group Discussion (Afternoon)

● Participants engage in reflective journaling/sketching/making on their learning experiences

● Facilitated group sharing of insights,lessons learned, and multidisciplinary synergies

Wrap-up Session and Closing (Late Afternoon)

● Recap of key learnings and takeaways from the residency

● Next steps & info share

● Encouraging ongoing networking and collaboration among participants.

Note: This outline provides a general framework for the residency. The specific details, timings, and activities will also be shaped according to the needs and preferences of the participants.

* possible case studies:

● The High Line, New York City, USA

● The Wall of Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, USA

● The Singing Ringing Tree, Burnley, UK

● "Before I Die" Walls, Various Locations

● Inside Out Project, Global


If you would like to apply, please download and complete the short application form via the button below.

If you would prefer to submit the answers to the questions by video, please email us a transfer link to your film instead (of up to 5 minutes in length).

All applications should be submitted to by 5pm on Monday 6th November 2024. Successful applications will be notified by Wednesday 8th November 2024

If you would like to receive this information in another format, have any questions or would like to speak to somebody about your application, please contact

Application Form