We were invited in a way to be experts at being ourselves. The Charrette created a very particular environment which gave us permission to dream, to challenge and encourage each other.

How can we now create an environment that will help Barrow be expert at being Barrow?

Jo Ray, Charrette Participant, 2009


Over 4 days, Re-Visioning Utopia brought Artists, Architects and Academics together in small multi-disciplinary teams that were fuelled both by an intensive series of research field-trips exploring the diversity of Barrow and its islands, and chaired debates on both achievable and imaginable objectives (for both Barrow and beyond), with reference to the discussion papers;

Charrette Discussion Paper – Re-Visioning Utopia and Beyond…


Re-Visioning Utopia II – From Yokohama with Love…,

 both written by Stuart Bastik for the event.


“Excellent balance of professionalism/rigour/organisation/professionalism with creativity/flexibility- really hard to get this right but you succeeded…once or twice I thought we were about to tumble into chaos but we came back from the brink and of course this edginess added to everybody’s excitement”

Walter Menzies, Charrette Participant, 2009


You can access the full Charrette Event Diary here.

Redesigning the Design Team

Art Gene were particularly keen to redefine orthodox working relationships; the constitution of the ‘design team’; and its working approach and aspirations towards a Re-visioning of Utopia… and beyond. Throughout, the Charrette was filled with opportunities to share food, knowledge and expertise – and (writing as a participant) to learn to aspire and envision without preconception or limit – something that participants certainly went on to spread through the countries and professions where they practice.


An important part of readiness is opportunity…

You can read the Post-Charrette Synopsis here.


Find out more about the participants

For most participants, this Charrette was only the beginning of their involvement with Art Gene. Many remain our Associates and their names appear across our exhibitions, projects and events as consultants and creative collaborators.

Find out about the participants, and read some of the Participants’ Thoughts, Responses and Testimonials here.

© Art Gene
Tel: +44 (0)1229 825085

Art Gene

Bath Street,


Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK

Donate here

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Registered Charity: 1135536

Registered in England: 4359454

All images, artwork and text on this website are protected by copyright and may not be downloaded or otherwise reproduced or distributed without the permission of Art Gene. © Art Gene associates, artists and partners, 2022.