Summary of Research

I began this journey with a vision, an idea that I could create a ‘A Market for Tomorrow’ I want to be part of the solution to helping our fledgling ‘High Street’. Helping our community. I feel that we are all socially responsible for our society. One person may struggle to make changes because each of us must contribute, be it only in a small way.

I began to look at my own skills and how I could incorporate what I know & what I do into making this vision come to fruition.

Design, that is the key for me. Behind all the facts & figures I had realised that people respond to what makes them smile and gives them joy. I began to look at every day things around me for inspiration. A picture, a pot of beans, some perished punkin even and I could see how each of these objects can represent many thing. My picture had always represented to me my life’s journey but now Iwas looking at it showing me the path of the design process. The beans ‘A depiction of my ideas, all different yet a little overlapping. A composition of a family with many strands.
The messy part of my design process. Every where I looked all I saw was the design in its full glory and I found my self dissecting everything. Already I could see what I wanted to achieve I didn’t know how or what to research. I struggled seeing how research would be able help to guide me through this process.

I sat and scoured the internet reading through pages and pages of information relating to markets current and older more dated ones. I began to build up a knowledge about the back grounds of markets. Of what they were there for and what they stood for. Although this was only secondary research I found it very helpful indeed and it helped me to focus and be able to filter the dater that I was taking in and focus on my future goal.

I finally struck gold, thankfully I fell upon this wonderful website

This was a series of film projects exploring the history of four London Street Markets.It explained how markets are a living, breathing part of history. They are part of the fabric woven within a Town/ City and each market reflects the character of its neighbourhood. For hundreds of years markets have provided livelihoods for people living in their communities and a source of affordable (and sometimes luxury) produce and items.

This was perfect, it gave me the keystone to my research and there for my design. At that time though I was so focused on the moral reasoning for why I was doing my design I lost my creative inspiration and I needed to step back and rebalance my thinking.

I decided I needed to carry out some visits to the local markets. What better way is there to get deep into the heart of your research than going down the primary research root. I visited several local markets Burnley, Nelson, Blackburn, Accrington, Leigh & Bolton. These markets were all very different because some had over the years been improved in one way or another but unfortunately some had not. It was sad to see some of the markets empty and unloved, dirty and quite frankly just grim. You could just about make out how it would of been all those years ago when markets were a hustling bustling hive of social activity.

I came to the decision that I would focus on one Market alone and I chose ‘Bolton Market Hall’ I chose this because it was by far the best market out of the ones I had visited. You could immediately see that it still had that hustle and bustle that a market should have. Over the past 17 years it had been through 2 regeneration projects each one costing upto £5 million being spent on making the market hall better. This showed me that it was worth putting time & effort into a space as It seems to be working. This market looked better, was designed better and had a much better atmosphere.
I spent weeks sitting with traders & customer collecting qualitative research buy getting there opinions on what works in this market & what doesn’t, what would you change and what would you want to keep the same. Not forgetting the big question … could we change the design of the market hall further? I had lots of great feed back. The traders and customers are up for more & more change. The overall message was ‘life is changing, so should we but we must take all the years of knowledge that have been passed down through the marketing community with us’

Now to analyse the information I had gained and evaluate how I could use it. I needed to start really thinking about the design itself. I did this buy looking at other places that people choose to shop at like the ‘The Trafford Centre’ I visited and studied how the building designers had made everything feel so grand and so big. I could see the theatrical connection that I was wanting to achieve in my design. As I walked through areas littered with eateries I felt like I was some where else. The design transported me to some where other than Manchester. This was what I was looking for. I did notice though that I felt alone and isolated here. I didn’t feel a community spirit or presence. it was at time cold and engineered. I now really did know what I wanted to achieve within my design.

As part of my research I also visited the ‘Christmas Market’ in Manchester, this brought me even closer to were I was wanting to be.

When you walked through the man made streets of the christmas market there is an atmosphere surrounding you. Yes I know its that christmas thing but I think there is some thing else there too. Its that feeling of magic, being part of a small gathering. The selection of different things on offer and the foreign food options all add to the experience. The design is simple yet ingenious. Simple wood structure reinforces that connection to nature. This was what I wanted to see. My design will posses that same feeling but hopefully on a permeant more grander theatrical scale.

I am now happy with the research I have carried out and the conclusions I have come to. Now I am looking forward to creating a model that can project my vision in all its glory.


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