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  • Plan for The River Project

The River Project

  • Ben Judd

24 June – 25 June

Offsite (River Don, Sheffield)

Ben Judd is an artist based in London and has been commissioned by Sheffield-based contemporary artspace Bloc Projects to produce an offsite project within the city in June 2017. His project will create a temporary, re-usable structure on an island on the River Don. The structure will be based on the geodesic dome, famously reinterpreted by Buckminster Fuller and the utopian community of Drop City in America. With an emphasis on reusing found materials from the river, the structure will be designed and constructed with the help of Sheffield-based architectural practice Studio Polpo. Carefully selected individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds will help construct the dome, and will then inhabit it for one night, eating a communal meal and sleeping there. The realisation of the project will last for one weekend.

The structure will be used as a site for facilitating discussion around the subjects of community and the river. The use of Sheffield’s waterways has been in decline since their industrial heyday and they have been a site of urban neglect; however there is a renewed interest in them as important spaces within the city, and they are now cleaner and abundant in nature. The discussions will consider the importance of community within a large city and will facilitate meaningful exchanges between strangers. The project therefore aims to reconnect people both to each other and to the river.

The project will be carried out under the guidance of the River Stewardship Company, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the regeneration of Sheffield’s waterways, and with the full permission of the Environment Agency. It will also seek guidance from local groups such as Kelham Island Community Alliance; Kelham Island & Neepsend; Kelham Island Arts Collective.