Here Together, We Are Home

Finalist 2020

A public art commission collaboration, aimed to elevate the status of a disadvantaged community, has created an iconic entry for the city of Clarence Plains using the powerful words; “Here, Together, Welcome, Home.”

Commissioned by the ‘One Community Together’ change project, this project aims to create entry signage that welcomes people to ‘Clarence Plains’. Community members had identified that to reduce the stigma of this disadvantaged community, there needed to be greater respect for place.

The team decided on a repeating galvanized gabion structure, where each unit was filled with local dark grey rock and utilized the Dutch-manufactured ‘DeDots’ as the graphic palette. The collaborating designer created a unique typeface based on the restrictive grid and color palette. The design had to consider legibility – in an area with very low literacy, as well as being friendly and welcoming. The final work consists of 12 gabions and 12,000 DeDots organized to spell out four words “Here, Together, Welcome, Home.”

By creating a system that uses an off-the-shelf gridded mesh, and ordering thousands of extra DeDots, we’ve set the local community up with a replicable design. There are plans already to install a further 2 words, using the typographical alphabet and words gathered during the engagement phase. Not only does the work give scope to exist in external installations with this physical system, it can also be used as a graphic system for merchandise, collateral and promotional material, giving Clarence Plains a distinct, confident visual voice.

The permanent installation has proven that cross-disciplinary work for the greater public good can result in projects with lasting effect on the community it stands to promote.

Design Firm: 

Futago, Karen Larsen

Client: 

One Community Together

Project Area: 

420 sq ft

Open Date: 

December 2019

Project Budget: 

$50,000 USD

Photo Credits: 

Samuel Shelly (photography), Matthew Scott (videography)

Design Team: 

Kate Owen (design director), Lauren Yates-Jones (designer & project assistant), Julie Stoneman (project manager), Karen Larsen (lead designer / typographer), Simon Trewin (researcher), Daniel Zika (project assistant)

Consultants: 

Suzanne Schulz (facilitator between community & art project team), Tracey Cockburn (facilitator between council and art project team), Linda Nicholson (community representative & champion), Dermot Cottuli (community representative & champion), Elise Parker (One Community Together project officer), Samuel Shelly (photographer), Matthew Scott (videographer)

Fabricators: 

Bas van Bolderen (REDFORT Architectural Fabrics, manufacturer of DeDots), Paul Whelan (rock fill & positioning), Steve Legros (manufacture of steel gabions), Glen Browning (footings)

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