Art Gene Mission Statement

An important part of readiness is opportunity

To embrace, develop and manage risk taking, skills sharing, trust and innovation, through multidisciplinary partnership working thereby creating opportunities for the empowerment of communities. To secure an informed, resilient, robust and truly sustainable approach to ongoing and progressive change…

We seek to stimulate a proactive and creative approach to problem solving allowing the re-visioning of commonly held (often global) perceptions and approaches which are all too often applied bluntly, and limit the development and realisation of untapped options in the re-visioning of our present and future.

We favour options which create opportunities to develop symbiotic, socially – rather than purely economically – driven regeneration. We see orthodox worldwide economic regeneration models as limited, substantially defining people as either ‘the workforce’ or ‘consumer’ and thereby subjugating them to the status of servants to a remote and all-powerful ‘machine’. The tendency to fixate on the impossible dream of endless economic growth as a driver encourages a continued and ever extended use of carbon-based, non-renewable resources, which our climate, environment and economies can ultimately ill afford.

We aim to create projects which stimulate sustainable, self-sufficient, locally distinctive economies and cultures: to redefine ‘growth’ through designing appropriately scaled infrastructure and projects which increase the quality of life; the self reliance and resilience of individuals and communities.

“our global economy, the significance of the nation-state is shrinking. The key units are regions competing on a global scale. The regions that will thrive in the future are those that maintain the greatest diversity within their boundaries: vital central cities and local centers; beautiful open spaces; a respect for historical identity to balance innovation; a mix of different transportation systems; and a system of culture and education that mobilizes the talents of all of their populations. Creating and maintaining this regional pluralism is the vital task of urbanism everywhere.”

Robert Fishman: Beyond Utopia: Urbanism After the End of Cities

The current recession (2009) can be seen as a warning shot across the bows of a society seemingly hell bent on self-destruction. However, it has to some degree led to an uncertain breathing space in the field of regeneration and there is more than a suspicion that the failed crop of the past requires the re-seeding of a fundamentally different approach to regeneration to achieve a sustainable future.

Art Gene believes that this is an opportune moment to redefine orthodox working relationships and the constitution of the ‘design team’.

Stuart Bastik: Re-Visioning Utopia: Discussion Paper, 2009

Three cylindrical wooden walk-in structures with wind turbines on top lined up near Roker beach. A yellow canoe in the foreground provides scale - the pods are 6x bigger
Rendered image of the Roker Pods by Art Gene’s Nicholson and Bastik. An edition of three movable pods, commissioned by Sunderland City Council, which harness the renewable energy sources of their site.

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Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK

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