Sandwell Futures

Cantoo was part of the successful Interserve bid team for the Sandwell BSF schemes. Our role was to identify, develop and manage the public art opportunities for the 5 schemes in the programme.

Early collaboration with each school or consortia of schools together with the Construction and Design teams enabled the proposals to be integrated into the overall building programmes.

An important part of the process was the engagement with local stakeholders through a series of public art steering group meetings as well as pupil workshops to gather resources for the final proposals.

The artworks for each scheme were individual and relevant to their sites; for instance at Smethwick glass cuttle excavated during the ground remediation works was used as a ballast for the courtyard feature.

An extract from the bid documents;

"At the heart of the creative engagement process is a recognition of the vital role artists can play in designing inspiring and transformational schools for the future. 

This includes being a broker, a translator, a provocateur, a listener, and acting as an interface between the world of construction and architect and the world of education and school community. Each has it’s own language and culture. We will ensure that the creative engagement process effectively integrates the stakeholders’ ideas and vision with the Design Team/ BSF process.

We believe that engagement with arts and cultural activities is not only an important aspect of an individual’s personal development and quality of life, but also a primary factor in fostering a sense of community and respect and understanding of others.

Creativity is not a skill bound just within the arts, but a wider ability to question, make connections, and take an innovative and imaginative approach to problem solving. These are skills that are demanded by today's employers. Young people should develop the skills they need to perform well not only in exams and extra-curricular activities, but also in the workplace and wider society"

More about the schemes