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

Launching the PLACED Digital Academy!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of PLACED Digital Academy – a FREE to access, creative programme about the built environment for 14-18 year olds. 

The shift to a digital Academy for 2020-21 is in response to the current Covid-19 crisis, when supporting young people in taking positive steps towards their future is more important than ever.

The Academy is designed to tackle the barriers that young people face in accessing professional careers in the built environment. It seeks to support greater diversity in the sector, enable participants to develop their skills and confidence and empower them as active members of society. It is being delivered in partnership with the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Regenda Group, along with support from amazing sponsors.  

The ten-week digital programme will give 30 young people the opportunity to participate in an exciting programme of activities about the built environment, with online workshops, tutorials and guidance from industry mentors.

Participants will take part in online workshops, including design projects, skills development activity, professional skill sessions and one-to-one support, helping them to feel confident as they take their next steps on their journeys. Young people will be supported by the PLACED team and fantastic mentor Ambassadors, built environment professionals and students. Mentors will include architects, planners, interior designers and landscape architects, offering young people a unique insight into careers and study routes.

One previous Academy participant states:

“The Placed Academy has really benefited me in many ways. It has boosted my confidence, developed my teamwork skills and has truly given me an insight into the built environment and what a career would be like in it. It is a great opportunity”. 

The 2020 digital Academy builds upon the success of PLACED’s first Academy programme, which ran from July 2019 until May 2020, as a series of face-to-face activities and workshops. 35 young people graduated from the programme in May. Their time on the programme has seen them become confident, informed young people able to think creatively to solve problems and develop ideas. 

PLACED Director, Jo Harrop says 

“At PLACED, we believe creative learning is an invaluable tool in developing young people’s confidence, self-belief and skills. Making the built environment the focus of this creativity means we can create empowered young citizens who know their view matters and that they have the potential to shape the places in which they live. 

We also believe it is a priority to support young people under-represented in the built environment in accessing the sector: whether young women, those from black and ethnic minority communities and those from less privileged areas. Only by supporting greater diversity through education can we create better, stronger and more understanding communities who can make a difference. 

That is why we established the PLACED Academy and we are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from our Partners and Sponsors.”

To find out more and get involved explore the pages on this website, and find out more about PLACED at Applications are open until 30th June.