Community21 – Embedding the University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design into a local and international sustainable development network
Community21 is a social design agency that works with diverse publics and socially focussed organisations, to provide innovative engagement and enabling tools for communities in the 21st Century. Community21 has delivered over 20 collaborative projects addressing sustainability and social issues, from water conservation to resilience and well-being in vulnerable young people.
Community21 is part of the School of Architecture and Design but students from a range of disciplines, including technology and computing and environment and ecology, provide innovative responses, engagement and enabling tools to identified needs and opportunities using creative making methods and digital-tools. These are made openly available via a web-based toolbox and are disseminated as impactful international research.
Community21 supports use of the tools in corporate businesses, academic institutions and public service providers, and has attracted approximately £315,000 of funding between 2010 – 2017 for itself and partner organisations, with 2017/18 awarded contracts set to exceed £200,000.
Top 3 learnings:
1 When engaging with issues of sustainability, there is productive value of working at the scale of ‘community’.
2 Our students are the best conduit to working well with other young people!
3 Sustainability is as much a social issue as it is an environmental one.