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What are the issues which affect your community, and how would you like to have a say in things which affect you?  This is what we explored creatively, using the mediums of drawing, writing, collage, googly eyes, glitter and PVA glue to make an experimental and thought provoking mini magazine (zine).

PAS recently organised a zine making workshop with the STAR Project, a Paisley based community organisation who run events and support activities for and with the community of Renfrewshire.   



Zines have been around for a long time. A zine is a DIY magazine, with a creative aesthetic, designed to get people thinking about issues and promote discussion and awareness, in an informal and creative way. We thought why not try using this kind of method for exploring placemaking issues?

The workshop involved lots of chat and a browse through the morning newspapers, and everyone made a page (or two) about something to do with place that they were passionate about, experimenting with different creative methods to express their feelings about different issues, and collaborating to find pictures and materials to decorate the pages.

Some of the issues which STAR participants created pages about included:

  • What do parents and children need in the town?
  • What is the town famous for/ how is it represented?
  • Official events and consultations should be run at convenient times and places
  • Why not make some creative art and landscape features?
  • Old buildings should be repurposed
  • Relaxed atmosphere at meetings about place and listening without judgement is important
  • Nature matters!
  • A sit down and a cup of tea helps connections
  • Making sure “inbetweens” are included is vital (i.e. making sure people who don’t typically get involved are able to participate)

These issues are important for many communities in Scotland and we would like to run more of these workshops with other community groups across the country. We hope the STAR Guide to Shaping Our Places has inspired you to think creatively about methods for community engagement, and starting discussions about your place.

Get in touch with Erin, Wojciech or Alison if you are interested in a zine workshop!