“Obsessed as we have been in Leeds with mimicking the success of other ‘great’ northern cities, we seem to have lost our way in ensuring that the city develops in keeping with its unique geography, culture ans architecture, and it is this which perhaps defines our current dilemma.
Can we transcend the ‘meaningful cities shopping list approach’ and concentrate instead on ensuring that Leeds develops in its own unique way?”
Jonathan Morgan, “City Living: is Leeds really missing out?”
“I love towns, they’re like friends to me. When I haven’t seen them for some time, I miss them ad I want to see them again to find out if they’ve changed.”
A barge on the Aire&Calder navigation approaching the Skelton Grange Power Station
The Rag and the Bone Man, Burmantofts
East Grove Street, Burmantofts
The sewing room, burton’s factory, hudson road
The pressing Department, Burton’s factory, Hudson Road
Haze over Burley, Westfield Crescent
Kirkstall Power Station, from Bankfield Road, Kirkstall, 1954
Eldon Terrace, Woodhouse Lane, 2004
City Square, 2004
Bus on Boar Lane, 2004
Bankfield Road, Kirkstall, 2004
And that’s exactly what he did. In a inspiring way.
The young Marc Riboud, following Robert Capa’s suggestion, first met Leeds in 1954, to makes pictures of it for the Picture Post. At that time, the magazine were publishing a series of pictures entitled “The best and the worst of English cities” an Leeds was the only town that left. 50 years after, in 2004, Marc Riboud, now a famous Magnun photographer, came back to Leeds to re-photograph it. So they became a book and a exhibition.
But it found difficult to duplicate his earlier photograph.
The city’s been growing and changing. And now, after only 10 years since his last visit, what could he find?
But nowadays anyone has a camera. The knowledge is share and spread.
What if anyone could try this experience? And hunt for those “lasting moments”?
“Throughout its history, the secret of Leeds’ success has been its outstanding ability to introduce new industry and adapt older ones when patterns of demand have changed and new opportunities have arisen.”
Burt and Grady, 1994, The illustrated history of Leeds, Breedon Books.
“It’s a great place to see tacky, rapacious capital butted up against proper Victorian architecture.”
Vanalyne Green, Professor of Fine Art, University of Leeds.
Leeds. Live it. Love it. Brand it
This morning we had a little chat with Mike Sheedy, teacher at MA Advertising and Design and deputy head of School of design. He, with others, is now working on the brand identity of the school of design of Leeds. The aim is to transmit the richness of this school that have so many souls inside: music, graphic, performance, visual, art, textile… People here should be proud of this variety and diversity, that it’s a kind of unique situation among others english uni.
He also gave us some useful tips about Leeds:
- It’s one of the biggest city in England, but it concentrates in a small territory.
- 70s – 80s. There weren’t so good time here, the industrial Leeds was declining..
- early 90s the city Council decide to improve the ex-industrial area and relaunched Leeds as a new business city, so they encouraged people to build in the waterfront area, to start creative companies and new businesses. They highlighted the stategic location of the city, placed in the middle of England and that it’s area is not so big, it’s a kind of “condensed city”.
And it worked! It really worked, also in the 2007 recession (think about the Trinity Leeds!)
- 2005. Leeds. Live it. Love it. Marketing Campaign on air! (the official website doesn’t work now)
…and now? Is it still working? Which is the evaluation of the campaign?
And today which are the needs of the city?