Cecilia Liardo BA (Hons) Interior Design
Can conflict for a common social space generate shared objects of desire? How can heterogeneous groups with at times contrasting views relate to each other, to build networks and shared futures? And what role should the designer have within these encounters?
These are the questions that the LIDO projects investigate and explore, with strong consideration of local context and awareness of collective interests.
The LIDO projects located in Ancoats and New Islington are the result of research into the location of possible anti-social realities due to gentrification. From my research, I discovered that the pre-gentrification residents felt a disconnect to the ‘new’ community. In researching a possible common objective that could bring the ‘original’ and ‘new’ communities together, I learned that the latter was opposing to urban plans revolving the disused Central Retail Park. The rejection to the proposal brough together existing local networks and formed new ones linked to the objection. They decided to move forward and create their own alternative proposal: The Central Retail Park Community Masterplan. The various option within this plan included a Lido and a Marina.
From these discoveries, the LIDO proposal was developed in two locations: LIDO Community Archive + Canal Centre in St. Peter’s Church, merging the memories of bathing in the canal, part of the natatorium past of the ‘old’ community, with the mobilisation and desires of the ‘new’ community, a space where confrontations and networks can continue to reveal; and LIDO at New Islington Marina, a shared object of desire and collective space for all communities (human and not human), connecting the canal to the people and the people to the canal.
I hope to continue my design practice to help create spaces and interactions where different – and often contrasting - groups can come together and develop transformative, meaningful futures.