Published in 2023

Cross-pollination is a practical approach to incubating networks of place-based projects, collaborative research and innovationThe approach is based on the principle of creating a sharing economy of assets (skills, projects and resources) among different people and organisations, across disciplines and sectors.

Cross-pollination: Growing cross-sector design collaboration in placemaking (Jan 2022- April 2023), was a knowledge exchange project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under their Place programme based off of this approach. The project is a collaboration between The Open University and The Glass-House Community Led Design, working in partnership with the locally-based partners in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales; Barnet, London; Gleadless Valley, Sheffield and Glasgow, Scotland.

In March 2023, we had the opportunity to support a cross-pollination exercise in Edinburgh, which had direct links with a previous cross-pollination workshop delivered by The Glass-House Community Led Design a few years back, in a different area of the city. This gave us the opportunity to capture the cascading aspect of cross-pollination, i.e. how people’s skills, capabilities and socio-spatial connections grow over time and influence policies, practices and the production of space.

The film below, by filmmaker Emma Crouch, aims to illustrate the cross-pollination approach and how it helps cascade and grow design collaboration within and across places in an organic way. It presents the experiences and observations of local people and organisations who participated in the cross-pollination workshop in the Liberton and Gilmerton area in Edinburgh, organised in collaboration with EVOC in March 2023. It also draws out the connections to the previous workshop in Portobello in 2019, capturing the longer term impact of the approach.

Read more about Cross-pollination: Growing cross-sector design collaboration in placemaking on the project blog here.

Read more about the workshop in Liberton and Gilmerton here, and about the connection between these two workshops here.