Welcome was an early research project by People United, exploring people’s crucial first 30 seconds of engagement with a cultural space.
We undertook this research because people are more likely to get involved in creative events and activities if they take place in an atmosphere where they feel welcome, happy and inspired. More than this, inclusive public spaces are part of the fabric of friendly, cohesive communities.
The project included facilitated visits with groups of adults and children to a range of cultural venues; finding out the views of architects, designers, venue managers and psychologists; and researching what others had written about the psychology of space.
Our findings included insight into the factors that people felt were most important when they entered a public building – such as feeling that they belonged and experiencing personal interaction. Feeling positive about the light, sounds and smells was also important.
When I walk into a building, I want to feel cared for because that will make me want to return. Participant
Welcome was funded by Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council.