Regenerating dockside – part 2!

On Saturday 12th November, we held our third monthly design workshop for our cohort of young people. This was a continuation of the October session, again working alongside our Gold Sponsors Arup and Planit-IE on their joint project that will regenerate Dockside at Liverpool Waterfront.

We started the day with a quick 20-minute group modelling activity. This involved two competing groups producing quick cardboard models of structures that would carry as many team members off the ground as possible. Both teams did very well, considering structural stability as they improved their ability to work well in a team by delegating tasks to each team member, working quickly and forward-planning.

Participants were then placed into smaller groups, based on their interest towards each of the design team’s priority themes introduced last month – heritage, nature, leisure/culture, and productivity. Several small tasks followed, including creating mind maps of words and sketches based around each theme, using drawing to imagine places and buildings this theme could relate to, and listening to a short presentation that showcased images for inspiration.

After lunch, we introduced the design brief. Similarly to our previous workshop, participants were asked to consider the places, interventions and buildings that would encourage them to visit the regenerated Dockside site as young people. The groups were asked to concentrate on their chosen theme, designing a specific building or place to be communicated through 3D-modelling using craft materials.

Their fantastic ideas included a natural landscape with a greenhouse for butterflies and exotic plants, alongside lakes and a café with views out towards the waterfront. Another involved reinstating one of the docks, refurbishing the clock tower and mooring a large boat containing an integrated restaurant. Each model showed a lot of skill and attention to detail.

We would like to thank Ian Ford and Eleanor Boyce from ARUP, and Chris Hall and Jonathan Helm from Planit-IE for helping to deliver the session. We would also like to thank our Ambassadors, Chris Aitken-Smith and Isabel Daykin for their support on the night.

Second Saturday workshop – regenerating dockside

Our Saturday design sessions continued this month, with the first of two consecutive workshops led by our Gold Sponsors Arup and Planit-IE. Activities focussed on their joint live project – the regenerative masterplan for Dockside at Liverpool Waterfront.

The session began with a ‘hairy drawing’ activity, which asked participants to visually describe their journey to our workshop location that morning, from memory. This was followed by an introductory presentation to the Dockside project by Planit-IE’s Anna Couch, followed by a site visit. During our walk around the site, we discussed existing environmental and heritage features, local buildings and their uses, and site conditions, opportunities and constraints. We asked participants to consider their personal experiences and opinions towards the site and surrounding area.

On our return, participants split up into smaller groups to design a public ‘intervention’ for the Dockside site – “what would make you and your friends want to regularly spend time here?” For inspiration, PLACED presented a few international architectural, landscape, and infrastructural design projects – including Heatherwick Studio’s Little Island, a park and events space by the Hudson River in New York, and the Serpentine Pavilion (2021) designed by Counterspace. We asked participants to pay particular attention to the design team’s priorities for the project – heritage, nature, culture and leisure, and productivity.

Each group described their ideas through the medium of collage, cutting and pasting magazines and coloured card, alongside drawing and sketching. Many worked directly on top of the site plan provided, indicating strategies for improvements to the site as a whole. Each group presented and explained their ideas, then took part in a wider discussion with PLACED, Sponsors and Ambassadors. Their ideas were imaginative and well considered, including markets, arcades, parks, water sports, nightlife venues, street lighting, cycle hire schemes and racing tracks. Many groups explained that they’d like to see a range of fun activities, environmental initiatives, heritage features brought back into use, and the area to feel safer.

We would like to thank Ian Ford and Katelyn Nagle (ARUP) as well as Anna Couch and Rebecca Foy (Planit-IE), for planning and delivering the session, and their continued support. We’d also like to thank PLACED Ambassadors Diya Calleechurn and Chris Aitken-Smith for their support on the day.

First design skills session – learning to draw like an architect

On Tuesday 20th September we held our first of many design skills sessions for the PLACED Academy 2022-23 cohort. The session began with an introduction explaining why architects draw, how they draw, and who they draw for. We discussed how architects use drawings, at different scales and levels of detail, to explain how their designs work to various audiences, including clients and the public. Participants learnt that digital software and sketching by hand are both invaluable tools to an architect or designer.

As the session continued, participants sketched objects of their choice, followed by one-point perspective drawings of rooms in their home. After this, they tried orthographic drawing, learning about plan, section and elevation through demonstrations and tasks. This included sketching an elevation of their home or a nearby building.

The session was attended by Laura Gouk, an architect at OMI, who demonstrated some of her portfolio to give an insight into the industry. We were really happy with the progress in this session and would like to thank Laura for attending.

One of our participants showing one of his sketches from the session