Surrounding Buildings – Canvas Ideas

The Bear Pit – Space Content and Culture

Informal Conversation with a HOME Fundraiser


Trump Graffiti – Political and Current

Books For Amnesty


Observations – Findings and Notes

(For some reason, Kate gets a weird accent in this video so just ignore!)


Observational Trip Findings – Collated from Notes

General: As a first observation, Bear Pit is circular with lots of seating areas, it’s a community space where people of all ages and types can get together and embrace culture and community. By the main bus stop, good location. The Bear Pit also symbolises centrality and unity from all directions and walks of life. The Bear Pit is quite a political area, there are graffiti and petition posters that stand for everyday people and their human rights. The Bear Pit is a good place for parties/celebrations – lots of events happen in the summer, people get together and have parties. We noticed how active the Bear Pit was i.e. people skating, passing through, sitting down drinking coffee, reflecting on life, maintaining the bear pit.

How do people use the space? The Bear Pit is not just a way in which people can get from A to B conveniently, it’s an area that embraces Bristol culture and community spirit (as seen in this post). We noticed that passers-through walked slowly, looking around the space taking notice of the art and graffiti on the surrounding walls. They didn’t usually walk in a straight line, with their eyes down, which is commonly adopted in pedestrian areas. This indicates that people passing through the Bear Pit are interested in the art content and are, therefore, more than likely to stop to engage in a project. It’s an open space with less people in the way so people can take their time to walk through it.

Can we project onto surrounding buildings? On the point of projecting onto a surrounding building, many of the buildings are residential. This means if we were to project onto them at night, people likely to be residing in the buildings (Premier Inn and flats) may feel that our projection is intrusive to their privacy. However, we did notice that Debenhams directly looks onto the Bear Pit and could be used as our projection canvas. Debenhams is a corporate building, so no one is likely to be disturbed in the evening and it’s part of the public architecture.

Is there a back-up plan if we can’t project onto a building? We took note of a flat piece of wall in the bear pit that had some graffiti on it. If we couldn’t project onto a surrounding building, we could potentially project onto the wall using a black piece of material to cover the background graffiti. It would make the project smaller in scale, therefore smaller in impact, but it would be more accessible and achievable in terms of constraints and security permissions etc. Having said, we have also considered projecting onto the floor.

What does another fundraiser think? After chatting to a fundraiser for HOME, he said that the Bear Pit would be a great area to host a charity campaign. He said that positive messages would be much more impactful and engaging as oppose to negative ones and that the main bus route is certainly a positive of using the space. The fundraiser also thought that the laser pen idea was really captivating and suggested that we look into the idea further.

Another observation was that the Bristol Improvement group were helping to maintain the Bear Pit and have the same ethos as our project. We’ve written a post on this and as an outcome, may get in touch with someone from the group about our project.

Why not the waterside? Bear pit appeals to our target audience more, people are bound to engage in activity whereas people sat at the waterside drinking tea and eating may not want to engage – they are just trying to enjoy their afternoon. Also, people using the waterside are not as broad in age and demographics as the people we observed at the Bear Pit. We saw families, teenagers, skaters, couples, older women, friends socialising and people walking alone through the bear pit. We want to get the message across to all human beings, regardless of their race or demographics, which is why the Bear Pit is better suited.