News & Insights

Halfway There….

Design team looking at plans

So we’re halfway through 2021 and it’s certainly proving to be a busy year so far for us here at FrancisKnight.

Published date: 24 July 2021

We have a number of interesting client projects currently in progress with two major new commissions getting underway as well as other exciting developments going on behind-the-scenes with work on our own business.

We are aware that in recent national news, there has been some furore over the government’s controversial planning reforms which has been having an impact on the results of local byelections around the country. Many people are feeling concerned about plans for big new greenfield developments in their local areas and don’t feel their voices are being heard. We believe that a lack of effective community engagement has not helped the situation.

Closer to home for us here in Maidstone, we are proud to have been appointed by Golding Homes to collaborate with the design team at Hunters Architects and Mark Hanton Studio to produce a public art delivery plan for Shepway Regeneration, Maidstone. A big part of this project will involve consulting with local residents and businesses to understand how they want to see the area evolve to make it a better place to work and live.

The Cambridge Crescent area has been identified as an area that could benefit from significant investment to replace the older housing, creating a modern and safer centre within Shepway. The public art delivery plan we create will support Golding Homes’ aspiration to develop a unique identity and character for the redevelopment at the heart of Shepway.

The Lead Artist selected for the site is Kent-based maker and sculptor Jonathan Wright. Jonathan will be working at the early stages of the development to suggest artworks that will be included in the site. He will invite local people to share stories and connections to the area to influence the final artworks. The work could be incorporated into everyday items such as seating, lighting, signage or a central meeting point in the public space.

Meanwhile, we continue to progress partnerships with several other commercial developers on projects involving community engagement, public art delivery planning, and commissioning for high profile artwork installations as well the creation of a very personal and emotive memorial for an individual who sadly passed away as a result of Covid-19. We enjoy the variety and challenge and look forward to giving you more insight into these in the coming weeks.

In addition to our client project activity, we have been developing a new look and feel for our own FrancisKnight brand identity, together with a new website, films, a thought-provoking podcast, plus a series of downloadable guides to commissioning public art – all of which has been funded by our successful application to the DCMS Cultural Recovery Fund. We can’t wait to share it all with you very soon – the second half of 2021 looks set to be even better than the first!

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