Introducing Our Associates

Since 2001 Art Gene have been developing rich networks of (inter)national artists, and more recently architects, designers and other specialists from whom we are fortunate to be able to draw inspiration and broaden our knowledge base.

This enables us to offer a responsive, creative cost effective operation with a much larger team with a wider skills base than would ordinarily be possible. Our Associates are typically those who following a collaborative research residency go on to work with us in the delivery of a project or core programme element.

Most of our current associates have initially applied through open submission to undertake our collaborative residencies or fellowships. Some were originally selected to exhibit in the Art Gene Gallery, take part in or lead our design charrettes, seminars, training initiatives, talks or walks.

The collaborative nature of our opportunities serves as an introduction to our research remit through an exploration of our primary research test bed, Barrow-in-Furness: but, critically it also allows us to explore more universal and complex issues within a glocal framework ensuring (inter)national relevance and the global transferability of our research.

Glocal Town

With a population currently around 70,000 Barrow’s scale and diversity is ideal for research. It is large enough to exhibit the common trends within many towns and inner cities experiencing the challenges of the 21st century but small enough for our new collaborators to come to understand its key mechanisms quickly. Our approach to research and engagement reflects notions of glocalisation* where globally relevant work is explored locally.

*Glocalisation is a portmanteau of globalisation and localisation. By definition, the term “glocal” refers to the individual, group, division, unit, organisation, and community which is willing and is able to “think globally and act locally.” The term has been used to show the human capacity to bridge scales (from local to global) and to help overcome meso-scale, bounded, “little-box” thinking.

Our residencies and other opportunities can be seen as an initial period of familiarisation, training, research and mutually beneficial exchange. This allows us to find, get to know and subsequently select the most appropriately skilled associates for particular projects.

Our associates are typically those who are currently or have previously worked with us in multidisciplinary design teams; developing and delivering a diverse portfolio of new projects in the social, natural and built environment.

Through our (Inter)national programme and test-bed-project: Barrow-by-Design, Art Gene has been engaged in developing pioneering working partnerships with local authorities and regeneration agencies which we hope will continue to inform and challenge our practice.

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Art Gene

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Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK

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