Saturday workshop – Architecture that responds to people and place

On Saturday 4th February, PLACED ran a day-long creative workshop that explored working ‘to scale’, focused on architectural design. Building upon previous sessions in architectural drawing and graphic design, 25 participants continued to develop their practical skills whilst further enriching their understanding of design processes undertaken by practitioners and students of architecture. We worked from Islington Mill, a longstanding arts space and creative community in Salford.

Firstly, by marking each other’s ‘personal space’ preferences and height measurements on large sheets of paper, we considered the volume of space required to comfortably accommodate ten people. This area was then drawn at a scale of 1:10 (ten times smaller), in plan and elevation.

The main task “to design an architectural shelter to accommodate up to ten people, with an additional function, for a specific client and environment” made up the remainder of the workshop. Participants were asked to produce a set of architectural drawings, atmospheric sketches, project graphics and models to describe their ideas, considering architectural responses to wide-ranging human and environmental needs.

We had imaginative and thoughtful proposals from each group, including a ‘space-age’ style shelter for cold and dry climates, built using insulating materials to reduce heat-loss; an adaptable home for refugees in warm and humid climates constructed out of bamboo and palm tree leaves; and an open, community building shaded by grape-vines, for warm and dry climates.

Thank you to all participants for their keen involvement and creativity, to Islington Mill, and to our fantastic Ambassadors Beth Houston (LUC) and Becca Gray (RJP).