The Manchester: Rebuilding the City Centre DVD was produced by EDAW, Inc. for the firm's inclusion in an exhibition titled "Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape," held by the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) February 25-May 16, 2005. This exhibition featured 23 landscape architectural projects at a variety of scales, and was intended to spotlight sites that have been regenerated or reclaimed after degradation or abandonment. This represented a momentous opportunity for EDAW to present one of its most notable projects - the regeneration of Manchester's City Centre and accompanying design of Piccadilly Square - to an international audience of peers, critics, and the museum-going public.
Additionally, EDAW's inclusion in the Groundswell exhibit represents an important opportunity to make progress toward EDAW CEO and President Joe Brown’s goal of raising the landscape architectural firm's profile to the level enjoyed by their architectural and engineering counterparts.
Manchester: Rebuilding the City Centre is designed to be legible and eye-catching for layman museum attendees while sparking interest and debate among industry peers. Because the DVD was part of a gallery installation, it needed to engage both casual passers-by and those looking for an in-depth experience.
Manchester: Rebuilding the City Centre needed to capture the energy and vitality of the city center eight years after it was decimated by a terrorist bombing. The DVD also illustrates the implementation of EDAW's master planning concepts and depicts how they have been instrumental in revitalizing the city.
Moreover, as noted above, the DVD needed to convey these messages without the assistance of a voice-over explanation of what was being displayed. It needed to be aesthetically pleasing, yet substantial enough to generate interest in the Manchester City Centre and Piccadilly Gardens projects - and EDAW's work in general.
Impact and Effectiveness
The Manchester: Rebuilding the City Centre DVD works as part of a continuum of public relations efforts that accompanied the Groundswell exhibition, including press coverage and an international mailer celebrating the firm's inclusion in this world-class showcase of landscape design.
The exhibition received international attention, and the prestige of EDAW's inclusion will have lasting value. Quotes from Joe Brown and Jason Prior, the Manchester City Centre project leader, appeared in an Associated Press article that was picked up by more than 40 daily newspapers in the United States. Additionally, the exhibition was favorably reviewed by Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for the New York Times, who specifically commented that it is time for landscape architects to be considered on par with architects and engineers as urban place-makers.
EDAW’s communications director has noted the positive effect that the exhibition has had on the perception of landscape architecture and that media are more receptive to EDAW projects and professionals as a result of the firm’s participation.
Provided to MoMA on DVD for viewing on LCD screen. Subsequent copies have been issued (as branded and labeled DVDs) to clients.