Raising the Sittingbourne Barn is a long-term project exploring grassroots methods of designing and making new buildings, with the aim of creating a permanent ‘barn’ in Milton Creek Country Park to be owned and run by local residents.
The project is managed by Cement Fields and Ideas Test, working in partnership with Milton Creek Country Park and Swale Borough Council.
Devised through conversation and collaborative design activities with Sittingbourne residents the project is drawn from longer-term research led by artist Kieren Reed into barn-raisings. A barn-raising is a traditional way for people to come together to make a wooden structure that wouldn’t be possible for one family to build. Neighbours work together to cut and join timbers, before lifting the frame into position using ropes and poles.
This joint effort allows a building to be constructed quickly, on a scale that is only possible with teamwork. This communal activity creates good connections between members of the community who may not normally meet in day-to-day life.