To compose the needs of the group which the design will answer, students have researched subcultures to find a group with a presence or purpose in Brighton, related to their previous term’s work. The aim was to discover a group of people or a practice that offers a set of beliefs or rules followed or by a small section of society. It might be a trade guild, a society of bee keepers, an ecological movement, a religious cult or simply a fringe population, whose practices fall outside ‘mainstream’ behaviour. Find the weirdness in the everyday or the normality in the eccentric.
Having identified a suitable colony, students analysed their history, cultural codes and anecdotal narratives to define the spatial needs of the subculture – how and where they gather; their modes of social interaction; privacy vs openness, public and private activities and so on. the result is a clear, rigorous and complete set of cultural codes and rituals, which define not just spatial needs, but crucially, how meaning can be enshrined in design.