“Everyone brought something vital to the table.” What it’s like being part of an Applied Creativity Lab

Three young inventors from the Re:Vision Applied Creativity Lab talk about their experience designing plans for the waterfront in Leeds to promote health and wellbeing.

The Aire and Calder Navigation, which the consultation may impact. Photo credit: JMA Photography

IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs connect young people with experts, empowering them to develop their own solutions to real world challenges. Re:Vision saw a group of 15-25 year olds work with experts in city planning and placemaking, landscape architecture, heritage and waterways in Leeds to create their own innovative solutions to how the local areas could be developed for future use. Lucas, Riyona and Hubert are three of the young place-makers who took part. Here’s what they had to say about the Labs, and of their experience working with Ignite and IVE.  


My experience working with IVE & Ignite on the Re-Vision project has been really enjoyable; I had no idea what to expect when I signed up, but it’s been so much more worthwhile than I imagined. 

My group and I were tasked with improving health and wellbeing in a dedicated section along the Aire and Calder Navigation and we really went all-out in preparing our idea: we had surveys, drawings, quotes, and an awesome presentation. 

The first few weeks were for training, but more importantly I got more comfortable with my group and we’re now friends. Then you start brainstorming ideas and the following weeks get a bit more intense – I realised we were actually developing a project that had potential. 

Now we’ve presented and got a huge amount of support from our audience and great feedback. There’s even more potential for it to be a reality, which again I never expected. 

Going forward we’ll be working with the local councillor and other organisations. All in all, I cannot recommend this enough. It went from an ad I saw on Instagram to something I’ll be putting at the top of my CV. It’s also really changed my perspective on things; if you want to do something just do it: find people who are interested, look for funding, and make your idea. 

Photo Credit: JMA Photography


If you’re a curious, creative and open-minded individual, the Re-Vision project is certainly an opportunity to take hold of! Throughout this project, team-work was championed and voicing all our ideas (including the crazy ones!) was thoroughly encouraged by the IVE team. This allowed us to explore creative solutions that would include the canal to address issues surrounding health and well-being. We were also introduced to divergent and convergent thinking which are valuable creative and problem-solving – methods that I will use throughout my career and future prospects.  

Through embracing this project we were given the invaluable chance to pitch our ideas to professionals and experts across various industries who gave us some really great constructive feedback; we were even given the chance to take our ideas further and possibly make them a reality!  

Overall I really enjoyed the project and working as a team to prepare our idea and presentation. It was challenging yet very rewarding to see how our ideas and skills improved week after week. The project provoked some great conversation and thinking points and no idea was off the table.  

Photo Credit: JMA Photography


I would really encourage young adults to take part in Re-Vision as you will have great fun meeting and connecting with new people, including professionals who have a lot of knowledge to offer. With support and guidance from IVE you will also learn invaluable new skills that you will take with you beyond this project. Hubert: 

I found out about the Re-Vision project through a friend of mine and I couldn’t be more grateful for her recommending it to me. The overall experience has been even better than I initially anticipated and I have definitely learnt a lot of new skills.  

Working with IVE introduced me to a new approach to problem-solving and ideas generating, which I will now implement within my own design projects. I really enjoyed collaborating with others and I honestly don’t think we would have come up any good solutions if it wasn’t for our teamwork.  

We were respectful of each other and our opinions, while retaining our own style, which in turn helped us coming up with a variety of ideas. Everyone brought something vital to the table and we worked hard not to let ourselves down.   

Overall, it was great to be given an opportunity to listen to professionals and get to know people who have the same interests as me. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn new skills and get out their comfort zone.  

IVE & Ignite want to thank Lucas, Riyona, Hubert and for their brilliant work with the Re:Vision project. We also want to thank the funders, partners and experts who made this Applied Creativity Lab happen: the Canal & River Trust, CITU, Civic Engineers, Leeds Civic Trust, Re-Form Landscape Architects and Yorkshire Design Group, and funding from National Lottery Heritage Youth Accelerator FundA full report into the impacts of the project from Research Toolkit Ltd is available to view here. 

Find out more about Applied Creativity Labs here. If you would like us to bring an Applied Creativity Lab to your school or youth group or would like to be involved as an ‘expert’ offering your perspective on any of these problems please contact: [email protected]