Harvest is a new temporary open-air meeting and learning space, created using straw bales as building blocks. This exploratory project has developed in response to the legacy of post-war architects Alison and Peter Smithson, their connection to the University of Bath and in particular their installation Patio and Pavilion work (1956). It also resonates with utopian urban thinkers such as Walter Segal (1907-1985) and those engaged in the Back to the Land Movement. Situated in the unique architectural context of the University, Harvest will operate as a ‘free’ space open to all.
The structure will host a series of free events, discussions and workshops co-curated with Griffiths and will consider the university as a walled city, a capital force and a utopian space. Visitors, students and staff are also encouraged to use the space for their own discussions and informal meetings.
Owen Griffiths is an MFA graduate of the School of Walls and Space at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. He is a British Council USA Fellow (2014) and Creative Wales Ambassador (2016-17). His work is engaged in redeveloping a new sense of urban vernacular, community and collaboratively led research as an antidote to normative and capitalist led approach to place. His practice examines issues of land, food, social justice, community, civic design and co-authorship. In 2012 he established Vetch Veg, an edible land project in Swansea, commissioned by Adain/Avion, Cultural Olympiad. Identified by Arts Council Wales as a culture shifter, is an ongoing community resource providing an urban garden for over 150 people. Current and ongoing collaborative partners include Artes Mundi, HMP Prisons, the Retort Network California, Common Ground, Center for Art and Activism, 1418 Now, National Museum Wales and National Botanical Gardens Wales. He is based in Swansea.