July 9

Social Sofa: Public consultation vox pop videos


Creative Team

Website: Social Vision
Social Media: Serena Stampfer, InkBlot Films
Workshop Leaders: Love York
Production: Jay Sillence, Mike Leigh Cooper, InkBlot Films

PR: What do you love about York, and what would you change?


Explore more direct forms of consultation directly in and with communities that aren't always involved in the wider cultural and progressive dialogue in their local wards. 


A partnership project by Social Vision, Love York and InkBlot Films, Social Sofa is a personal response to sharing the views and opinions of York residents. We started in the city centre and moved to suburban areas beyond the city walls. 

Traditional forms of public consultation, such as surveys and meetings, only attract a certain audience. We love to film 'vox pop' - which translates as "the voice of the people". By gathering content on the High Street, you find out what's really happening from community members who don't often get their voices heard.


  • Run the Social Sofa concept at three events; in York ay Everyman, Acomb High Street and a community-art launch event
  • Take influence from the geographic locations of filming to create a visual style and aesthetic
  • Work as inclusively and frictionless as possible, observing how and who is responsive to our presence in their community


Working in close collaboration with joe Gardham at Social Vision and Jelle Fisher at Love York, we organised simple, unobtrusive setup to speak to people with the addition of a sofa, borrowed from local traders in Acomb, using furniture at Everyman and with a borrowed couch at Space Invaders.

With almost zero dependence on hiring kit, external crew or suppliers, we could be nimble with our concept and explore the process and outcomes in a pure way that involves no distraction from the interview and production process, to the point of spontaneous moments of joy from people and pets (a sausage dog wanted to eat our 'dead cat' wind sock).  


A self-started project, Social Sofa ran in York Central,  at Social Vision Connect event held at York's Everyman cinema and on Acomb Front Street during July 2019.

Filming in any public space is never easy. It's important that any filming causes the minimum disruption. As York residents, we contacted local business owners and ensured a sensitivity in approaching individuals passing by.

In the news

What do you love about York, and what would you change?


  • 3x pilot episodes for 'social sofa', 1x project summary video
  • 2x residential communities, 1x project, 1x artist engaged


Highlights, Interview, Video

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