other academic icon

Disrupting spaces/disciplines:
A workshop about uncertainty in an uncertain space

Location: Temple Works Leeds
Date: June 22nd 2015


On Monday 22nd June the Communities & Culture Network+ will be hosting a workshop to explore the theme of uncertainty in an uncertain space: Temple Works, Leeds. The aim of this workshop will be to generate a practical output in response to the theme and the space.  

The theme of ‘uncertainty’ is a provocation to explore, imagine, interrogate, critique and immerse into the unknown in order to disrupt our disciplinary approaches/frameworks to be able to think and imagine possible futures. This provocation is also intended to respond and intervene in the space of Temple Works, a Grade I listed Victorian former flax mill that once made history with “the largest room in the world” and sheep grazing on a skylit roof in the heart of Leeds’ industrial revolution. The lengthy (and uncertain) repair period necessary for such a unique structure has given local and regional artists the opportunity to test the site’s spatial qualities and choreography.  

Participants in the workshop will include musicians, activists, photographers, ethnographers, and social scientists interested in ethnography, design, future and uncertainty.


This workshop, facilitated by Yoka Akama and I, was a great success. Temple Works provided the ideal location to explore the theme of 'uncertainty' and the participants co-produced some very thought-provoking responses. The format of 'preparing for', 'locating', 'surrendering to' and then 'tracing' uncertainty, suggested by Akama, worked very well. A number of vivid sensory experiences were socially produced in negotiation with the decaying and challenging spaces offered by the building. These experiences were discussed at length and 'traced' in different forms of visual, auditory, physical and textual media, reflecting the participants' differing approaches to practice-led research.

The workshop resulted in an informal online publication, co-authored by all of the participants, and later formed the basis of a chapter in the book Uncertainty and Possibility: New Approaches to Future Making in Design Anthropology.