As part of the Pararchive project, I, with my colleagues in CARBON Imagineering, visited Stoke on a number of occasions, to work with a group of volunteers. This story covers our first trip, and the things we learned.
The first surprise of the day, was that a member of the group we were meeting was an old university lecturer of mine – Phil Rawle. I hadn't seen him in well over ten years, so that was great. He taught me during my time studying graphic design at University of Derby. So no pressure on the final outcome of the project, then!
We had an interesting discussion about the aims of the project, and also the history of Stoke. It's yet another example of a British city, which had a globally influential industrial base (ceramics), which has declined over the last few decades, and is looking to recover some of its former glory. There was discussion over the fact Stoke has significant and surprising stories under its belt. For example, Apple's chief of design, Jonathan Ive, used to have Stoke-based company Ideal Standard as a client, early in his career!
The final part of our visit was at the CoRE college building, where we met interested parties who were keen to share their stories about Stoke, and learn more about the project. We learned lots about the history, as well as the hoped-for future, of Stoke, and left that day, excited to continue the project.