Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A-N for Lunch

UHC recently hosted a lunch for A-N members and staff during their visit to Manchester. Having been to Castlefield gallery and on route to Rogue Studios and Cornerhouse, the group stopped off at UHC for some freshly made lunch. With all of the studio helping out we laid on a feast of paella, homemade bread and vegan cup cakes.

Eating on the fourth floor marked the beginning of our plans to transform the space into a regular site for events, discussions and artist’s use. With the lunch going down smoothly chatting with members of A-N about our plans, we got excited about the development of hotspur house and UHC’s future projects.

As part of our development of the fourth floor we will be hosting a series of Reading Groups in the space discussing the themes explored in EXAM, continuing our development of the project and hopefully sparking some lively debates! The first Reading Group will be held on the 29th of September from 6pm-8pm - more information will be added to the project website soon -

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Futures North looks beyond the "Big Society"

Last week we took part in the Futures North Conference in Leeds, where we met with other Co-operatives to discuss and learn about setting new directions on education, economy, energy, technology and transition.
There was a choice of interactive workshops, insightful speakers, and practical learning whilst having the opportunity to speak to other exhibitors.

The Futures North Conference aimed to "Look beyond the Big Society”, bringing together some of the key people and the ideas that offer practical solutions enabling communities to tackle today’s problems, and create a greener, fairer and more sustainable future."

We took part in an inspirational workshop by Make It Happen Consultancy, who are leaders in social change and aim to challenge and change the traditional business model to one where social and ethical values are embedded in the way that business is conducted. They talked about how to create impact, growth and value using 4 key elements from their business model, including profit, ethics, people and impact.

The event was a great way to meet with other co-ops, discuss our role as a design studio and show how our services can benefit the needs of clients from all backgrounds. Sourcing 'ethical' design can be difficult and although not perfect, we are committed to providing a service that challenges the norms of the design industry and aims to achieve more for society as a whole.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Changes afoot

Our Studio at UHC is going through some major re-developments; a general move around provoked us into totally rethinking the way we work and the atmosphere we work in.

In the recent weeks we have decided to refurbish our kitchen - moving it to a more suitable and practical space, and to create a new working environment for the Design Studio. This development of the working space is well beyond necessary, and it comes at a time when a little encouragement and change is needed to stimulate the atmosphere of the studio for all those who work here.

Simon has proposed a new location for the kitchen and we will be documenting the stages of the re-development, showing in all its glory the hidden treasures of the Hotspur House, the mess we create and the relief when we finally have running water from a tap!

Like everything that UHC do - we are trying to make our work space more sustainable, longer lasting and efficient; by recycling different materials for the re-build we are contributing to the future of what UHC can provide for artists, designers and the people who work here.