Research Project: POMONA ENCOUNTERS

Project Founders: Fabrizio Cocchiarella, Dr David Haley, Valeria Ruiz Vargas

Research Collaboratory: Judith van den Boom, Gunter Wehmeyer, Hayley Flynn, James Walsh, Stuart Marsden, Luke Blazejewski, George Haycock, Adam Price, Eddy Fox, Vincent Walsh, Kate Bevan, Giordana Ferri, Jane Webb, Sally Titterington, Paul Logan.

Through Performing Platforms MA students on their ‘Professional Platforms’ unit at Manchester School of Art, were invited to be part of the Pomona Collaboratory group and join research staff, research networks and the public on a walk as part of Manchester European City of Science in July 2016. The walk entitled ‘Pomona Encounters’ was a journey into the ‘The Art of Fruitful Living’. Inspired by the ecology of food, the potential for urban food production and Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit, the walk took participants on a creative journey through the habitats of Manchester, Salford and Trafford. Walkers encountered a cornucopia of paradoxical tales around themes of biodiversity and urban planning, carbon-free air miles, invasive species for healthy living, and old toolkits to design new nature. These ’Sci-Vision’ stories to provoke inquiry have been interpreted by the students. Through the process of engaging as a collective platform students investigate, identify and develop visions through which to intervene with the status quo and propose new futures for Pomona and beyond.

Following the walk we decided it was time to consolidate these visions, interpretations and work in progress into a publication that reflects the thoughts, passions and connections explored. It is hoped that through publishing a book with Gaia Project that the writings contribute to the documentation, marking and inspiration of future thinking. A holistic interpretation that draws on a multi-disciplinary and multi-lens perspective of knowledge and experience to critically reflect, direct and propose specialist visions for the future city.