Community Infrastructure, for creative and education-based activities in Brunswick, VIC. Australia.
Drawing inspiration from the work of Robert Greenleaf, and in particular his 1970 essay “The Servant as Leader”, the idea of a servant leader is fundamental to the TPT caretaker management approach.
“This is my thesis: caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built. Whereas, until recently, caring was largely person to person, now most of it is mediated through institutions – often large, complex, powerful, impersonal; not always competent; sometimes corrupt. If a better society is to be built, one that is more just and more loving, one that provides greater creative opportunity for its people, then the most open course is to raise both the capacity to serve and the very performance as servant of existing major institutions by new regenerative forces operating within them.
The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?”
Siteworks has an active practice-based research method for site management services which is defined by the following terms and their interrelationships – Caretaker / Maintenance + Rehabilitation / Production.
This research manifests in the following ways:
→ A full-time caretaker embedded into a site establishes base operations. The caretaker holds responsibility for the maintenance of both site and operation, and program and curation.
→ Acts of generosity and inclusion are fundamental to its aims, and are communicated to everyone engaged on the project.
→ Rehabilitation of existing sites provides a return on community investment at a higher ratio than new development.
→ The site and its operation is a net gain, and generative spaces add value. This is in the form of an expanded field of use.
→ Essentially, we are interested in building cultures within communities.