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Haring Woods developed PerceptionAREA, a successful model of creative public consultation and engagement which devises non-confrontational situations to capture the perceptions of targeted individuals and groups about specific issues.  These issues concern equally the social and physical aspects of public spaces. Each consultation is developed in collaboration with the client and project partners to clearly define the objectives, budgets and resources.  The process provides valuable qualitative and quantitative information, supporting traditional consultation and market research methods.


We collaborate with politically astute artists trained in engagement to devise social situations where the community feels confident to express their opinions and ideas with the knowledge that these views will be shared and used to inform change.  The engagement process is monitored by the project team and documented by the artists to produce an art work, usually in the form of a short film, a book or website which can be presented to and shared by the contributors and the clients.


PerceptionAREA has proved especially successful when aimed at engaging the ‘hard to reach/hard to hear’ members of a community, recognising how every member of the community is a vital stakeholder and participant in the democratic decision-making process.


PerceptionAREA project results have helped to identify savings in expected budgets and to secure significant new funding from partners and public agencies.  The process helps to restore trust in the professionals responsible for decision making and delivery in the public realm.


Over the past 6 years, PerceptionAREA projects have been commissioned in the UK throughout the county of Hertfordshire, by the local and district councils through the Green Heart Partnership initiative and also in Essex and London.

growingroomintroimage PerceptionAREA

For the PerceptionAREA projects pack download  

The Growing Room,  For London Borough of Enfield


This consultation on the 'Greening of the Hertford Road' for the London Borough of Enfield produced an innovative engagement situation and a film by Karen Whiteread.

growing room JaywickRocksKarenWhiteread

Stevenage Town Centre Gardens  for Green Heart Partnership


A three phase creative consultation and design process reuslting in a major redevelopment of the Town Centre Gardens. MORE





With Our Ears to the Ground


A new Community Cohesion Strategy for the county of Hertfordshire, devised by Proboscis. For more info

South Oxhey Library   for Green Heart Partnership


HWS commissioned artists Grennan & Sperandio to undertake a public consultation around the question 'What could a library be to you?' to inform the redevelopment of South Oxhey Library.


Underneath the  Arches  for Green Heart Partnership


A Perception AREA film by Rayna Nadeem about Bushey Arches which informed capital developments and a lighting installation by artist Tony Stallard

BusheyArchesGhostTrainTonyStallard sele_104

EN10  for Green Heart Partnership


Artist Simon Honey spent 3 months on the Wormley Estate finding out what the community wanted for a new centre through this Perception AREA project.


It's all going on at Sele  for Green Heart Partnership


A Perception AREA film by Karen Lois Whiteread  about the community centre and open space around it, in one of the most deprived areas in East Herts.


Clarence Park  for Green Heart Partnership


Filmaker Sanchita Islam consulted with the diverse ethnic community in St Albans about their perceptions of Clarence Park to inform the development of its Management Plan.

Click on the images for full project details