A £1.47 million award has been made by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) for the ‘Stories of Change’ research project (2014-2017). The project explores the past present and future of energy choices and is funded as part of the AHRC’s ‘Connected Communities’ programme.
Dr Renata Tyszczuk and Julia Udall from the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture will be working on the Future Works story of the project in Sheffield.
The ‘Stories of Change’ project aims to help to revive stalled public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future. The project supports the cross-party commitments to decarbonisation that sit at the heart of the UK Government’s Climate Change Act by encouraging more dynamic, open and plural public debates, and by making space for a more imaginative sense of the scope for action. The project draws on history, literature, social and policy research and the arts to encourage a more imaginative approach to current and future energy choices. Working with stories offers a popular and engaging route into thinking about the past, present and imagining possible futures, and also because stories, narratives and narration are concepts that everybody can gather around.
Led by Dr Joe Smith of the Open University, the project team involves the Universities of Sheffield, South Wales, Birmingham, Bath and Exeter and the arts organisations Tipping Point and Visiting Arts. The project will work with many other partners from the arts and cultural institutions, as well as industry, community groups and other researchers.
Dr Renata Tyszczuk of the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture is Co-Investigator on the project and leads one of the three main strands of the project: Future Works. Julia Udall will be a Post Doctoral Research Associate on the project. Future Works is rooted in the English Midlands and will explore stories of the long relationship between energy, industrial making and landscape, and where it might go next. It will gather communities together at a series of factory sites in or near the Derwent Valley to develop accounts of energy system changes as they affect the workplace. The project will collaborate with colleagues at Sheffield, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) as well as cultural and industrial partners in the Derwent Valley region, for example, John Smedleys Ltd, Gripple, The South Yorkshire Industrial Heritage Society, the Silk Mill and the Derby Museums Trust, Bloc Space, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and the Derwent Valley Mills Trust.
View of the Silk Mill in Derby, the ‘first factory’, c. 1725