Ian is linked though his voluntary support and association with the Place Alliance – a new national movement for place quality which emerged following the 2013 Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment. The Place Alliance was founded on the idea that through collaboration and better communication we can establish a culture whereby the quality of our places becomes a national priority.
Ian was first linked to the Farrell Review in 2014, when he helped advise arts and place organisation Beam expand on a review strand advocating for the ‘Role of Artists & the Arts’ . This theme had been first developed by Beam Director and review panellist Robert Powell. Following on from this, Ian then became a Farrell Review champion himself, helping advocate for the role and benefit of an Urban Room movement being set up nationally. Along with fellow champion Claire Tymon, Ian helped set up the pilot of an anaugural Urban Room Blackburn (URB), linked to his commissioned work for Blackburn is Open. URB became the first Urban Room formally recognised in the UK and the movement now has its own working group chaired by Carolyn Butterworth of Sheffield University.
In 2017, Ian was invited to become a voluntary member of the Arts & Place working group of the Place Alliance. This Arts & Place steering group is comprised of a range of cultural professionals and artists, supported by Beam in collaboration with Farrells, architects and Place Alliance. It was formed of course to address and promote the role of the arts and artists in placemaking. In particular the planning, design, making, and animation of ‘place’, and how this might be further developed.
Their ideas, together with Graham Henderson’s essay Putting Soul in the City – Essay Towards a Manifesto, have informed the drafting of “A MANIFESTO FOR THE PUBLIC ARTS – The Arts, People and Place.”
The Arts and Place group responded to the House of Lords Built Environment Select Committee’s enquiry into National Policy for the Built Environment, and to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s consultation on the Culture White Paper.
The Arts and Place working group are working together to influence future national government policy for the public arts and better integrate the public arts into the development of our places. It’s current activity is focused on:
• Refining the message of the manifesto
• Creating a campaign to raise awareness and support for the group’s core mission
• Research and collation of exemplary projects
• Talking with the sector
Hosted by Beam, the latest Arts and Place Regional Conversation was held on Tuesday 6 March 2018 in Nottingham.