AgeUK Milton Keynes and MK Gallery held their third workshop on Tuesday 9 May. This is a series of workshops in which information is gathered from older residents of Milton Keynes to assist Virtual Viewing in developing an age-friendly digital map of the Theatre District in Milton Keynes. AgeUK MK and MK Gallery recognise that older residents are becoming increasingly isolated in Milton Keynes and the digital map would be one way of attracting older residents to take part in cultural activities in the Theatre District.
The prototype of the app being developed is divided into two main sections: a map and a list of activities. The Map section of the app would allow users to view bus times and navigational information as well as being able to click on venues to find out information about their accessibility and event. The Activities section of the app would list current events that would be happening in the Theatre District such as gallery exhibitions and activities as well as theatre events.
One of the concerns of the workshop participants is that there is no central, reliable place to find a list of activities in Milton Keynes. The gallery recognises that older generations are often the primary carers for young children and that cultural activities need to take this into consideration. Other suggestions for the map included showing seating areas, disabled and free parking spaces and toddler activities for older residents looking after grandchildren.
It was emphasized by MK Gallery that the Theatre District was an important cultural centre of Milton Keynes which needed to be revived and made more inclusive in order to create an alternative culture to the vast shopping district of CMK. The new plans for MK Gallery would include a much larger gallery space, a cafe, a theatre and large areas of landscaping and so the hope is that the gallery will form a cultural centre to which they will attract older residents of Milton Keynes as well as other groups. Find out more about MK Gallery’s expansion plans here. The digital map would allow older residents to make the best use of this new gallery space and to engage in future activities at the gallery.
“As part of our City Club project, MK Gallery has been holding workshops with pioneer residents involved in the diverse urban planning and community practices of Milton Keynes. Residents have provided architectural drawings and community print that we’ve displayed in the Project Space. Working with Age UK Milton Keynes, we are interested to consider how older residents might use SMART technologies to network around and navigate to alternative cultural activity in the town centre.”
-Linzi Stauvers, Learning Project Manager at MK Gallery
A final workshop will be organised in May where the final options for the app prototype will be tested and explored. If you would like to attend please contact Caroline Odjidja at firstname.lastname@example.org