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In July 2010 ARK LAB were involved in the ARKADE Empty shop project. With the development's taking place within Cardiff at the time. The Victorian Arcades which for many years have been the heart of the city were suffering. Due to a combination of city centre improvements that had blocked lines of sights and entrances right through to the newly developed St David's 2 shopping centre. This had led to over 40% of shops being empty which in turn had led to a reduction in footfall through the Arcades ARK LAB worked with the community of the Arcades on a number of levels. - Firstly we developed a number of workshops that involved the businesses in and around the Arcades - Challenge what a shop can and is in today's market - Improve footfall for the other shops in and around the arcades - Shed new light on what the Arcades have to offer - Bring social design and performance to the public We opened up one of these empty shops, we designed the spaces and all marketing collateral we also produced a number of campaign's both viral and traditional methods. When it came to the shop we filled it with also a number of events. During the three days, the shop was constantly busy. With well over fifty people at some points being inside while others looking in through the windows. Press coverage for the arcades was huge with pieces being written by: Design Week, the guardian and and Wales Online. Also the project was covered by BBC Cymru and itv Wales. In the short period since the project the local businesses have setup their own association and other strong relationships have been formed between businesses.

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In July 2010 ARK LAB were involved in the ARKADE Empty shop project. With the development's taking place within Cardiff at the time. The Victorian Arcades which for many years have been the heart of the city were suffering. Due to a combination of city centre improvements that had blocked lines of sights and entrances right through to the newly developed St David's 2 shopping centre. This had led to over 40% of shops being empty which in turn had led to a reduction in footfall through the Arcades ARK LAB worked with the community of the Arcades on a number of levels. - Firstly we developed a number of workshops that involved the businesses in and around the Arcades - Challenge what a shop can and is in today's market - Improve footfall for the other shops in and around the arcades - Shed new light on what the Arcades have to offer - Bring social design and performance to the public We opened up one of these empty shops, we designed the spaces and all marketing collateral we also produced a number of campaign's both viral and traditional methods. When it came to the shop we filled it with also a number of events. During the three days, the shop was constantly busy. With well over fifty people at some points being inside while others looking in through the windows. Press coverage for the arcades was huge with pieces being written by: Design Week, the guardian and and Wales Online. Also the project was covered by BBC Cymru and itv Wales. In the short period since the project the local businesses have setup their own association and other strong relationships have been formed between businesses.

Julian Sykes's picture

We have been getting into the empty shop project. As there is less than a MONTH to go, that has gone so fast. I personally have to invite the local businesses to a workshop to see if we can use design thinking to increase communities and joint ventures between each other. We also have the performances to arrange and another community project to get our heads around.

Julian Sykes's picture

So what a week. We have been busy and busy and a bit more busy. I think this is the week we will look back and realise that it was the week that tipped. Monday was a meeting with everyone at Cardiff Design Festival and it's first planning meeting for 2010.

empty-shopProject 3 - Dead spaces - empty shop

Julian Sykes's picture

Wednesday club - breakout

Julian Sykes's picture

Provisional invitation for Happy Spaces / Dead Spaces. Work in Progress.shop-invite-2

Laura Howe's picture

Here are some of my photos from our trip to Brixton. I've just realised that I don't have any photos of the amazing market stalls, which were selling the most incredible assortment of food. These stalls are the life-force of the market, the reason for its existence, and it was interesting to see how the other ventures co-existed with them.

Lynsey's picture
Laura Howe's picture

Cardiff city centre has a number of empty shop spaces and so we thought ‘wouldn’t it be great to use them?’

Lynsey's picture

hello its wednesday again and if you want to join us we will be downstairs from 7pm so feel free to pop over and say hello. If its a little noisy we will head upstairs to the games room so check there too.

Julian Sykes's picture

For everyone interested in ARK's project 5 – which will be involved in all of the other projects during the next few months – a Wiki has been setup for the beginning of the online Word Hospital.
ARK - Wiki can be found here

Julian Sykes's picture

Following ARK's launch at the ATRiuM, Cardiff. We have now come up with the first few projects that we will be working on in the coming months.

Project 1 - Lost & Found

Julian Sykes's picture

It's now been nearly two months and we have setup a small but promising little club. Initially we had started with no name and 'Wednesday Club' was coined by Lyns. We have now finally come up with something which we think fits 'ARK'. We are all very happy with it, and look forward to posting more of our thoughts. As you may have guessed we meet on Wednesday's in Cardiff.

Wednesday Club

Why not come along to our meeting on Wednesday evenings and see how you can get involved! Click here to view our calendar.

PlayARK - 2011

playARK is Cardiff's very...

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