|Looking at greenhouse precedents|
|Looking at greenhouse precedents|
DesignBox Architecture are delighted to have been invited back to Furzedown Primary School to run some more Architecture and Design Workshops. We worked on chair designs over two weekly lessons. The workshops focused on the development of design using writing, drawing and making skills.
|Extracts from the workshop sequence sheets, looking at the concept, structures and ergonomics.|
|Examples of work showing text, drawing and models|
The results were hugely creative. The student's imagination produced some very impressive results. Their application and involvement in the process drove many of them to work through design issues positively which was very encouraging. The students considered their designs carefully. In addition to the predicted gaming chairs, the works included a comfy chair for Mum, a trampoline chair, and a chair to meet friends on.
|More examples of work showing text, drawing and models|
Thanks to Furzedown Primary School and their Art department. Have a great Summer!
Education note: The purpose of this design workshop was to demonstrate the importance of Art and creative subjects in the National Curriculum, especially when used in application with mainstream subjects like English and Maths. 'Chair-ish creativity' is about how we should 'cherish creativity' and demonstrate why the STEM subjects are much more accessible and enjoyable when set within an environment of STEAM.
The multi-mode process also helped the students to understand how design develops and is informed by each separate step in the process.
|The Machrie Hotel at the beginning of construction|
|Inspecting the contents of the trailers|
|Vehicle work at the Machrie maintenance shed|
|The new vehicle shed tucked behind the maintenance shed|
Transport For London (TFL) are looking for ideas to add value to some of their tube station car parks. Our response is Tube Hub; a heterogeneous network of street markets, connected and empowered by the TFL tube network.
With a focus on local speciality trades, crafts and businesses, each market in the Tube Hub network can be a place to buy a passing coffee, drop off dry cleaning, meet work mates for lunch, rent a work station for a day, or meet friends for an evening event.
The tube network raises the profile of the markets, facilitating access with passing trade from commuters or as a specific destination for visitors.
We have been living our lockdown lives with ever more reliance on online services, often through a small number of well-established companies. Progressive technologies allow us to operate without geographical base, supported by logistics that brings stuff to your door.
It seems long ago that we knew our local high street and the small family businesses which populated it. We have moved towards a more anonymous relationship with our community.
Tube Hub seeks to re-address this, re-uniting communities with the wealth of services in their area, supported by the robust TFL transport system, which encourages people beyond their doors and brings everyone together!
2020 and 2021 so far have been long periods of lockdown. With restrictions thankfully easing we now have the opportunity to take back some ground on how we connect with our communities and the wealth of opportunities it offers...and enjoy life.
Playgrounds are an important part of childhood. Play, exercise, seeing friends and having fun all happen in our playgrounds. In these days of lock-down, playground facilities have never been more important for the mental and physical wellbeing of our children.
But have you noticed that playgrounds are for kids, but have been designed by adults? What do they know?!? With Furzedown Primary School in London SW17 we set an design challenge for KS2 pupils (years 3 to 6, i.e. 8 to 11 year olds) to re-imagine their perfect playground: A space for kids, designed by kids.
This lock-down challenge was sent out to the kids with the following simple rules:
|Playground Challenge Brief|
|Playground Challenge Ideas|
|Years 3 to 6 tackle the Playground Challenge!|
One sheet of paper
One sheet of paper is a very powerful tool. It can be the vehicle to start any imaginative journey into design. The opportunities for working with it are huge, and the feedback it gives to your eyes, hands and brain are invaluable for understanding 3D space as well as developing fine motor skills.
The use of paper for experimenting with design is very important, especially for younger children. It helps the mind to understand 3D space and form, and to enable the mind to comprehend objects in space. This is a learnt skill which we tend to lose as we grow up. Our world is dominated with straight lines, flat planes, vertical walls and standardised doors and windows. As we grow up we become more and more used to these simplistic conventions. There's a kind of dumbing down of our 3D cognitive skills. Professional designers sit in orthogonal rooms and operate 3D computer software to solve spacial design issues which our minds are losing a grasp of. Neither the mind nor the fingers are being exercised as they could be as a designer.
But it starts with only one sheet of paper; a very accessible resource. Take a scrap sheet of A4 and before tossing it in to the recycling bin, try giving it a couple of folds. What does it give back? Has something been created that you need to turn in your hands to comprehend? What space does it offer? Placed on a table, what scale would a person need to be to occupy it? Bring your eyes down to the level you would be, if you were that scale. What is the light like? How do the spaces feel? How would you scale this up to make a full size structure? Where would you site it and what would it be used for? Suddenly you're on an Architectural adventure.
The list of examples below are techniques for manipulating paper which we have used in School creative design workshops. It's a toolbox methods that can be used to investigate and progress architectural design ideas.
Folding is possibly the simplest process to start with. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and its reversible. Adding a few folds to a sheet of paper quickly transforms the material from being an unremarkable object to something that challenges our comprehension.
Cutting is a one-way process in the sense that it is irreversible, unlike folding. Cutting allows different shapes and forms to be created and geometries managed with polyhedron nets or allowing flexibility in the material which was not possible before the cut.
Adding allows paper components to be combined to make a new form or structure. These can either be as structural rods created from rolled paper, geometric shapes combined as panels, or with folded forms added together to make larger structures such as with modular origami. Assemblies can have fixed or flexible junctions. As a result, the forms created can be static or flexible.
Slotting components together allows three dimensional assemblies to be created which can be disassembled and recreated in different geometric arrangements. Having folds and slots at angles quickly challenges our abilities to mentally keep track of the forms that emerge, and can create some exciting results.
Lets not forget that paper is ideal for drawing. In our design workshops we always like to challenge our students further by inviting them to represent their 3D creations with Architectural drawings and how they would work at full-scale. These include plans, sections, elevations, axonometrics, perspectives and free-hand explanatory diagrams.
With designs developing, our workshops often investigate how the the proposals will transform with different materials, to experiment with colours, light, translucency, and the meanings and values associated with different material surfaces. We often look at different structural solutions, because materials perform differently to paper and card. Here, white card models start to transform in to more complete design proposals with these extra dimensions added.
Given the opportunity we love to attempt scaling some proposals up to full scale. It enables the students to realise their creations and experience how they will work in reality. Paper sheets and rods generally transfer into card or correx sheets and card roll centers from rolls of carpet, fixed with cable ties, rope or nuts and bolts.
The journey of a humble sheet of scrap A4 paper to an individual and unique creation in form, space and geometry can be extraordinary. To practice our drawing skills we're encouraged to sketch for ten minutes each day. To practice our spacial design skills we should likewise play with those waste sheets of A4 paper before they get sent to the recycling bin.