people in places

Richard Sobey creates people-focussed interventions that test approaches to urban living. He collaborates across sectors to inform practice and policy decisions in place-making. Richard is creating strategies, designing projects, developing policies and evaluating actions in the cultural, heritage and urban planning sectors internationally.

"a force of energy with visionary ideas"

Richard is Co-Founder and Joint Director of DELVE Associates enabling unusual connections for people, place and prosperity

people Richard is making things happen with

Richard is currently collaborating with people to make things happen in a variety of contexts:

  • Sarah Spanton, Urban Planner, Artist and Founder of Waymarking (UK), with whom Richard has created DELVE Associates to explore and identify possibilities for impactful socially engaged activities at the interface between artistic practice and formal urban planning. DELVE uses formal spatial analysis, neighbourhood planning and tactical urbanism methodologies to formulate new approaches to city living. DELVE aims to make unusual connections for place, people and prosperity.

  • Alison Andrews, Artistic Director and Founder of A Quiet Word (UK), with whom Richard has created The Walking Talking Project, informing artistic practice and audience development through international dialogue.

  • Chris Haddon, photographer (UK), with whom Richard has created 70:70 Vision, a large scale photographic exhibition that takes Harlow's seventieth anniversary as an opportunity to meet those individuals who make the town what it is today in an attempt to make conversation matter.

  • Founding Executive Director, Caroline Watson and Director of Charter Administration, Fanny Ollivier at Global Arts Impact Agenda (France/Switzerland), who are developing programmes for localised delivery against United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals 2015 and with whom Richard is creating international strategic initiatives for the development of sustainable cities and healthy communities.

Richard is currently helping people make things happen at:

  • InspiralLondon (UK) - an artist-led project, working collectively to create a new walking trail spiraling out through London; from Kings Cross, ending (and beginning again) at Gravesend, where Richard is on the Advisory Board.

  • ACTIVATE (UK) - an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation leading the initiation, development and sustainability of outdoor arts, dance and theatre opportunities for the people of Dorset, the South West and beyond, where Richard is a member of the Board of Directors.

  • Bedford Creative Arts (UK) - an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation commissioning art for public spaces that directly engages the public through collaboration with artists, where Richard is a member of the Board of Directors.

  • Waymarking - a UK organisation creating arts projects for the urban development sector, where he is an Advisor.

He recently worked to make things happen with:  

  • UK New Town Harlow's Be Well:Work Well Strategy Group (part of the Health & Wellbeing Board), of which Richard was Chair.

  • UK Harlow Arts Strategy Group, of which Richard was a member.

  • Li Peng , an independent creative producer working between YuShu (China) and Taipei (Taiwan), with whom Richard developed commercial models of practice for socially engaged arts and development experiences.

  • Anna Webb at Engine Room (UK) where he was strategic planning facilitator.

  • Dr Alice O'Grady & Prof. Calvin Taylor at University of Leeds (UK), where Richard was a Research Fellow in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries in the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications from August 2013 to August 2017.

Richard was a member of the following teams making things happen:  

  • Quest South West (UK) - the Outdoor Arts Network in South West England that stimulates surprising collaborations in the public realm, where he was a Board Member (2014 to 2016) and Chair from December 2015 to December 2016

  • Board member, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Arts, Manchester UK (2009 – 2013)

  • Advisory Board member at Hua Dan (China), an NGO delivering empowerment programmes for migrant women, Beijing/Chengdu (2008 – 2011)

  • Mentor for the UK's NESTA National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts' Dream Time programme (2008 – 2010).

Richard co-founded NASA - the UK’'s National Association for Artists working in outdoor contexts - and a network for creative producers in Beijing.   Between 2002 and 2007, he was a member of the Yorkshire Region Targeted Export Steering Group, Calderdale Development Agency's Economic Development Forum, Calderdale Local Government's Cultural Strategy Working Group, Creative Calderdale Network Steering Group, Curriculum Development Board of Calderdale College’s Cultural Heritage Department and Eureka, the Museum for Children's Gallery Development Advisory Group.



© Richard Sobey 2018     all rights reserved   updated December 2018