The Big Sink - The Ideal Creative Space [added 12/11/02]
Stage one of research commissioned by the Clore Duffield Foundation, into the ideal visual art-exploration spaces within schools, galleries and museums. Despite large amounts of lottery funded investment in cultural venues the Clore Duffield Foundation has become increasingly concerned that the cultural and educational sectors have few guidelines on what these creative spaces should be like in terms of design, location, equipment, management and use.
Accommodation overall in about 60% of primary schools falls outside the schools inspectorate Ofsted's definition of 'good', and in about one in ten it is 'unsatisfactory'. A quarter of secondary schools have 'unsatisfactory' or 'poor' accommodation. According to Ofsted annual reports, art provision is particularly vulnerable when a school's accommodation is inadequate. For example, in 2000/1 'accommodation and learning resources continue to have weaknesses in about one in five [secondary art] departments'. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has concluded that currently half the country's 'school stock' (buildings) needs replacing and is 'unsuitable for modern school use'.
This research in to what is needed for good, well designed spaces for art teaching and learning is in response not only to poor facilities but the fear " that the government's new programme of school renewal will miss a vital opportunity to rethink and revitalise the creative spaces for visual arts work and exploration." From the size of the sink upwards this report identifies vision, need and blueprints for success.
For more information, see the Clore Duffield Foundation website, follow links to News and Creative Spaces project.