Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sketchbook Found II

Doodles and design developments...


































































Friday, 17 December 2010

Sketchbook Found!

I'm so happy- my sketchbook was discovered in the computer lab on the last day of term!

(This is after I asked the staff at the lab if a sketchbook had been handed in, to which they replied "no", only for me to find it weeks later under a pile of abandoned A1s next to the big scanner. Very weird...)
Actually, there are random pages below from all the sketchbooks I've been working from this term- not just the one I found

































Thought I'd upload some pages to show where I've got to with my master planning...

Friday, 10 December 2010

LOST SKETCHBOOK

Uh oh.

I think I left my sketchbook in the computer lab Monday evening. It's definitely not at home and it's nowhere to be seen.

If anyone comes across it please let me know- it's got all my best jokes in it.

Revised Concept Briefs & Vision Statements

Updated these last night so should post here- don't worry if you can't be bothered to read them...

CONNECTIVE

BRIEF


Jubilee Gardens is to be reconnected to the fabric of the South Bank, the river Thames and Waterloo station- it will no longer function as the “doormat” of the London Eye. The successful proposal will extend the cultural programme of the South Bank into the space presently occupied by Jubilee gardens. It will re-connect residents, tourists , visitors and workers to the site, the river and beyond.

AIMS
· To connect the site culturally
· To connect the site ecologically
· To re-connect with the river
· To-reconnect with local residents
· To connect to the digital world
· To create a world class addition to the urban landscape

OBJECTIVES
· Extend the site into the River Thames
· Establish links and green corridors to neighbouring green spaces
· Include one or performance areas
· Ensure space can manage current programmatic use whilst generating new sequence of performance and encounter spaces
· Create new digital as well as physical space and include interactive site features
· Include cafe/ restaurant/ commercial spaces



*******************************************************
CONNECTIVE - VISION

“Both conduit and node”
At present, Jubilee Gardens exists as nearly two acres of underused space at the epicentre of London’s most vibrant cultural centre. A This proposal sees Jubilee Gardens as the connective tissue between a number of adjoining physical and metaphysical elements on a multitude of levels that will reinvigorate the immediate environment and create a truly world class environment. This new connective space will be a conduit and a node, a thoroughfare and gathering-place.

"Connecting High and Low culture, resident and visitor"
The design proposes to reconnect this space- literally and figuratively- with the cultural programme of the South Bank. Visitors to the London Eye and local residents need to connect with this programme also.

“Connecting east with west”
The site sits to along a section of the Thames that runs from south to north. To the east, Waterloo sits oblivious to the activities of the gardens. To the west, a new connection with the river- its rhythms and its oscillations- is long overdue.

“Connecting environments”
Does a space that concentrates on social and cultural issues have to exclude ecology and biodiversity? This proposal will integrate neighbouring green spaces and provide ecological corridors without compromising the cultural programme.

“connecting to the digital realm”
Locally activated applications, accessible only at the site, could provide opportunities to visit both the physical site and a parallel, virtual site. Technology pioneered in Toronto could enable users to store and share files, pick up last minute tickets for the south bank and to make new social connections. This interactive element will provide a new sense of ownership for all site users, as well as offering residents greater involvement with the programme of events.

“The performance of everyday life”
Space is event, events are performances and performances depend upon performers. This site will connect users to the street-performers whilst maximising the number of social encounters possible, so that they too will become performers.

STRATEGIES

· Establish and survey patterns of use to devise new, connective organisational structure
· Use of contemporary architectural structural elements that “sit” comfortably amidst the built environment
· Use of environmentally friendly, sustainable materials
· Develop interest in digital/ interactive elements of site during construction process to build excitement and establish ownership by site users
· “Digitally live”, phased project to minimise disruption
· Creation of sequential spaces with contributions from artists, garden designers, sculptors etc.
· Follow ecologically conscious, native planting scheme whilst maintaining contemporary design aesthetic

***********************************************************************************
***************************************************
EDUCATIONAL

EDUCATIONAL - BRIEF

Jubillee Gardens is to be redesigned as a working urban farm in the heart of London’s cultural quarter. It will provide the opportunity for members of the local community to gain skills in agriculture and horticulture and promote urban food production.
The facility will be operated and managed by a co-operative of community groups.

AIMS:
· To create an urban farm on the site of jubilee gardens incorporating both arable and pastoral land.
· To provide local school children, youth groups and residents with vocational skills in horticulture, food growing and animal husbandry
· To operate a working, operationally transparent, self-sufficient organic farm
· To educate visitors and resident about the importance of urban food production, food security and sustainable farming methods
· To acknowledge the large volume of visitors to and through the site throughout the year
· To connect the site to the adjoining environment

OBJECTIVES
· Site must provide land allocated for allotment style micro-agriculture
· Provide comfortable and secure space for a variety of farmyard animals
· Site must include education centre to “re-skill” the local populace
· Site must provide visitor centre and cafe (revenue generation)
· Site must provide access to all or most of the area 7 days a week during daylight hours
· Include hay/flower meadow
· Sit comfortably amidst vernacular architecture of the site
· Farm will be managed along organic lines and be as self-sufficient as possible

**************************************************************************************
EDUCATIONAL - VISION

This proposal envisages an urban farm which embraces the future whilst acknowledging Britain’s the past. Jubilee Gardens is to be reborn as Jubilee Farm: a radical project that is reflected in a radical aesthetic.
In a homage to strip farming, the site will be organised into longitudinal strips parallel to the river Thames. Whislt the site will be bisected by a diagonal path linking Hungerford Bridge to Belvedere Road, the majority of the site will be fenced off, accessible via the visitor centre. Pedestrians will be able to enjoy the woodland edge habitats created on the sites fringe, glimpsing free-range livestock through an encircling woodland.
The present site of the car park will function as a food market, encouraging the sale of local produce and that grown on site. A visitor centre located here will feature green roofs for food production. Cutting into the landscape of the higher elevation jubilee gardens, the green roofs will give way to glasshouses.


· Phase development involving local populace
· Employment of suitable management and staff from within local population
· Establish links with local youth groups, schools and adult education centres to engage in educational programme
· Create a local, not-for-profit cooperative to eventually run the site
· “Closed loop” management policy- minimisation of waste and energy
· Hedgerow/ woodland edge planting scheme, native grass pasture and meadows, food production area

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

master plan scenario - connective (draft)

My favourite word




(of these scenarios, please! It's no Cellar Door... oh, that's a phrase not a word? What about celador?)



Once again- vision and brief merged in this draft form. Will really have to tease out the brief from the vision and make more coherent...




SCENARIO 3:
CONNECTIVE


“Both conduit and node”
At present, Jubilee Gardens exists as nearly two acres of underused space at the epicentre of London’s most vibrant cultural centre. A This proposal sees Jubilee Gardens as the connective tissue between a number of adjoining physical and metaphysical elements on a multitude of levels that will reinvigorate the immediate environment and create a truly world class environment. This new connective space will be a conduit and a node, a thoroughfare and gathering-place.

"Connecting High and Low culture, resident and visitor"
The design proposes to reconnect this space- literally and figuratively- with the cultural programme of the South Bank. Visitors to the London Eye and local residents need to connect with this programme also.


“Connecting east with west”
The site sits to along a section of the Thames that runs from south to north. To the east, Waterloo sits oblivious to the activities of the gardens. To the west, a new connection with the river- its rhythms and its oscillations- is long overdue.

“Connecting environments”
Does a space that concentrates on social and cultural issues have to exclude ecology and biodiversity? This proposal will integrate neighbouring green spaces and provide ecological corridors without compromising the cultural programme.

“connecting to the digital realm”
Locally activated applications, accessible only at the site, could provide opportunities to visit both the physical site and a parallel, virtual site. Technology pioneered in Toronto could enable users to store and share files, pick up last minute tickets for the south bank and to make new social connections. This interactive element will provide a new sense of ownership for all site users, as well as offering residents greater involvement with the programme of events.

“The performance of everyday life”
Space is event, events are performances and performances depend upon performers. This site will connect users to the street-performers whilst maximising the number of social encounters possible, so that they too will become performers.

AIMS:

· To create an organising, connective structure by uncovering patterns of use
· To connect the site culturally
· To connect the site ecologically
· To re-connect with the river
· To-reconnect with local residents
· To connect to the digital world
· To create a world class addition to the urban landscape

OBJECTIVES

· Open up space views and circulation to rest of South Bank
· Establish links and green corridors to neighbouring green spaces
· Create beach-deck-queen’s walk interface
· Ensure space can manage current programmatic use whilst generating new sequence of performance and encounter spaces
· Create new digital space, devise software for use, encourages new users of cultural centre

STRATEGIES

· Establish and survey patterns of use to devise new, connective organisational structure
· Use of contemporary architectural structural elements that “sit” comfortably amidst the built environment
· Use of environmentally friendly, sustainable materials
· Develop interest in digital/ interactive elements of site during construction process to build excitement and establish ownership by site users
· “Digitally live”, phased project to minimise disruption
· Creation of sequential spaces with contributions from artists, garden designers, sculptors etc.
· Follow ecologically conscious, native planting scheme whilst maintaining contemporary design aesthetic

master plan scenario- alternative (draft)

As before, brief and vision have been merged in this draft.

I hated doing this one! Really got stuck on the word

SCENARIO 2:
ALTERNATIVE

Jubilee gardens should demonstrate the viability and exciting possibilities of alternative sources of energy. The site is to be funded and maintained through corporate sponsorship (perhaps from the adjacent shell building). Additionally the site will be fully interactive- visitors will be able to redesign and remodel the site- consisting of fully mobile structural hard and soft landscape elements. A radial organisational structure centred on a series of mobile, concentric rings tethers the site to the London Eye- London’s most popular tourist destination.


AIMS
· To transform the entire site into a giant, kinetic sculpture celebrating alternative energy powered by solar, wind and tidal energy


· To create a site comprising of mobile landscape elements- from barriers to seating, shelters to play apparatus- all movable via an interactive system of controls by members of the public


· To create a world-class landscape that will be the envy of the world- a contemporary “great exhibition”


OBJECTIVES


· Power the site entirely by solar, wind and tidal energy


· To create the necessary site mechanics to organise and facilitate mobile elements


· To enable human interface with the redesigning of the site


· To build a radial organisational structure


· To create an exhibition pavilion with a constantly updated exhibition on new sustainable and alternative energy sources and technology


STRATEGY


· Obtain corporate sponsorship-highest bidder (shell’s front doorstep?)


· Research the most efficient and cost effective way to realise alternative energies on the site


· Engage the public and local designers with the creation of individual landscape elements


· Devise an effective way of managing the organisational structure and mechanics of the movable landscape


· Architectural/ structural planting scheme- also hardy so can exist in containers/ planters (mobile)

master plan scenario - educational (draft)

Vision and brief have merged by mistake...

SCENARIO 1:
EDUCATIONAL

This proposal for Jubilee Gardens seeks to provide the South Bank with an urban farm in the heart of London’s cultural centre. The new centre will provide the opportunity for both residents and visitors to experience the pleasure and utility of food production and animal husbandry in the urban environment. The farm will be organic and as self-sufficient as possible, in keeping with the sustainability ethos of urban farming. As well as being open to members of the public, the new development will offer local residents to develop vocational skills in horticulture and agriculture.

AIMS:


· To create an urban farm on the site of jubilee gardens incorporating both arable and pastoral land.


· To provide local school children, youth groups and residents with vocational skills in horticulture, food growing and animal husbandry


· To operate a working, operationally transparent, self-sufficient organic farm


· To educate visitors and resident about the importance of urban food production. Food security and sustainable farming methods


OBJECTIVES


· Site must provide land allocated for allotment style micro-agriculture


· Provide comfortable and secure space for a variety of farmyard animals


· Site must provide access to all or most of the area 7 days a week during daylight hours


· Sit comfortably amidst vernacular architecture of the site


· Site must include education centre to “re-skill” the local populace


· Site must provide visitor centre and cafe (revenue generation)


· Farm will be managed along organic lines and be as self-sufficient as possible


STRATEGY


· Phase development involving local populace


· Employment of suitable management and staff from within local population


· Establish links with local youth groups, schools and adult education centres to engage in educational programme


· Create a local, not-for-profit cooperative to eventually run the site


· “Closed loop” management policy- minimisation of waste and energy


· Hedgerow/ woodland edge planting scheme, native grass pasture and meadows, food production area

master plan scenarios

Someone once wrote something about landscape being a diagram... now who was that?


Ahead of the master planning session I tried to come up with a set of diagrammatic symbols- the challenge: stay unique without losing the universality of primitive semiotics. If that sounds pretentious, it will be because I've been deconstructing Derrida of late.

The real reason I was doodling away, however, was writer's block, pure and simple.I lost a lot of sleep trying to come up with a vision for the alternative master plan scenario. Guess what? My idea for rotating landscape (inspired by J-Pez) had already been envisaged by Antoine!

Who knew. Great minds, eh Siggen?
Anyway, as usual I failed to comprehend the task and manage to mash my brief and vision together. Unusual in this circumstance as the process involved a little bit of schizophrenic dialogue and play acting (on the one hand, I am the client! On the other, I AM A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT!). Just the sort of thing I relish. Like Gollum, or the mono-dimensional point in Flatland

Please find below some random sketches for conceptual and diagrammatic drawing. I'll post the draft "Visions" up short later (no psychedelics involved this time).
So... back to the doodles... barriers and lines...

...and then that old chestnut, monotone rendering.

Pretty unextraordinary (ordinary?) rendition...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

like, giovanni boccaccio and junk

This is Giovanni Boccacio. Iwas supposed to deliver a seminar on him about six weeks ago.
Instead, a paper all about him will be doing the rounds this Friday.
Big shoulders.


Monday, 29 November 2010

simulacrum - a collaboration- Le cadavre exquis


A lot of our studio exercises involve collaborative group work. Sometimes, work from one table is passed to another and augmented, as with the previous session's mind-mapping exercises.

All of which put me in mind of the surrealist game, Le cadavre exquis [exquisite corpse], an exercise in creativity similar to consequences. I embarked on a similar exercise this summer whilst a member of a short story group, write club

Each week members were given titles and were tasked with the production of 1000 new words corrresponding to said title. I have posted quite a few of mine on this site (you'll have to go back to July, or have a look at the write club website). As the weeks progressed, some of the members began to experiment with other formats, with a friend of mine (who- until she decides to make her public entrance- shall remain anonymous) producing a collage, pictured below, for the title "simulacrum".
(hopefully my friend won't be annoyed about me putting it here because it is already published on the write club page)

I produced a fairly standard sub sci-fi romance which you can read here

She played with the idea of the copy of a copy (simulacrum, simulacra...) equisitely, so decided to spontaneously produce my own simulacrum...

I then scanned- lo res , grayscale [sic]- and returned to my collaborator to deconstruct and reassemble, only to be rescanned and sent back to me...

copy

of a copy

...

... a copy

*

Without permission from my anonymous collaborator I cannot yet publish the full extent of the project, but hopefully that will soon be forthcoming and I'll be able to share them here.

Friday, 26 November 2010

landscape awards speech - Ian McMillan

If you haven't listen to this, please do so. Ian McMillan has such a wonderful turn of phrase and to hear him speak in front of the landscape institute is magic.

LI AWARDS

Great observations on landscapes of myth... very funny man, too.

studio sessions - alternative/educational/connective/


This Monday's studio session was shorter than usual as we were due to present our survey analysis of Calverley Grounds and Royal Tunbridge Wells. Once again we were thrown together in a group, though there was a little bit of a reshuffle. I found myself with Alick, Grant, Isabel, Lili, and Toby scanning through EDAW's design proposal for Jubilee Gardens before attempting to verbally summarise their master plan document.

Aija and Karen joined us for a mind-mapping exercise, exploring the word "educational". Neighbouring groups further explored the words "connective" and "alternative" before exchanging and augmenting each mind map. The resulting composite word webs presented an exciting palimpsest of concepts and interpretations. I'll upload them as soon as I can figure out how to extract the images from my phone.

It transpires that these three words will form the basis of the master plan scenario(or scenarios):

educational
alternative
connective

Anyway, there's a bit more but I shall save for another post.

Oh, the sketch? Yeah- it's a panorma of Royal Tunbridge Wells from Gibraltar Cottage.]

Thanks!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

les savy fav - patty lee

After the anxieties of Monday evening's presentation some serious alcohol was needed. Thank you, Camden town. But it was not enough. Fortunately I had the foresight, several months ago, to buy a ticket for Les Savy fav at the electric ballroom!

Magic.

Here's the video for Patty lee

Friday, 19 November 2010

studio session - 1st November/ warm up for master planning

I'm having a break from place and culture and thought I'd run up some images from an exercise we did on 01.11.10.

All images courtesy Alick Nee

This relates to the SEQUENCE & RHYTHM compositions we produced prior to the class, but after completing the master planning workshop (see posts a & b) the purpose of this preceding exercise is beginning to crystallise.

In groups of four we shared our sketchbook images and selected our favourite.

We went with Alick's hopscotch diagram- on the basis that it illustrated rhythm especially well:



Next, some brainstorming *sorry* mind mapping concerning the word "rhythm".

Always a good ideas springboard, right?



Taking 5 words from the mind-map (aren't all maps mental?) we then produced a conceptual master plan of a park/ landscape experience...




Conceptually, this was a series of interlinked spaces of oscillating size (creating rhythm) to be experienced in a linear-but-circular fashion (progression- like a spiral or an elliptical narrative)... the path can be repeated in a circular manner different textural experiences were granted via the different planting in each area.

Believe it or not, there was an underlying theme to all of this! The ascent up the hill represented the journey through life (uh... hence death hole..)

As in life, you can just end up going round and around in the same circle without getting anywhere...

...or you can climb up to the very top.

It could also be a comment on the cycle of death and rebirth...

I was nominated to speak on behalf of the group.

In a classic Jamie twist, everyone nominated for this role was asked to only talk about how the words fitted into the design, whilst a second group member (in this case Imogen) was asked to described the design.

We were then tasked with producing a map of our survey site from memory:


Not bad at all, really- mainly due to Imogen, I think. My contribution was a few street names, a railway line that's actually underground and a misaligned north-point: something no-one seemed to notice- I've only realised now. I'm much more familiar with the site than I was a few weeks ago.

Our final task was to apply the key words from the previous exercise to Royal Tunbridge Wells, to redesign the site.

Naturally time constraints meant this was by no means the finished master plan for RTW- reverting the town centre to a series of interlinked, transitional green zones.

The biggest challenge was in attempting to explain our concept to the member of another team- who then had to present on our behalf.



Perhaps the lesson of this is that a good concept must be easy to communicate- and must correspond with the plan...

the map is NOT the territory (or is it)... but the medium is the message...


anaïs nin

I read a really sad but beautiful quote from Anaïs Nin yesterday:

"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing."

I don't know much about her other than she was born in France and wrote the preface to Tropic of Cancer.

Google her I guess.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

studio session - master planning workshop 1b (SAGALAND)

I like Mondays.
The nine o'clock start may be less than ideal, but I really like the studio environment, the exercises and the sharing of work and ideas.
Feel like we have a good group this year. Reminds me of first year when we'd all gather with the certificate students and crit our Greenhithe/site design work.

Anyway, enough nostalgia.
What perhaps reminded (or remound...) me the most was the exercise below- a large sheet of newsprint, divided into eight rectangles, into which we had to make a quick diagram/sketch based upon a key word.


Beneath, we have formal:

informal


symmetrical



unsymmetrical [sic (- and I have checked this! There is no such word! Still, asymmetry has other connotations I suppose... and I was totally off with the in saying a grid must be symmetrical)]




organic

(always end up drawing amoebae- or plant cells without the detail)




inorganic

(coz someone said "nature has no straight lines"- bullshit)



linear



grid



(yeah, here's an asymmetric grid:)



This series of exercises was- I suppose- reproducing classic organisational structures.
Next, we had to produce quick sketches to more detailed instructions.


Asymmetric grid - orchard



A grid is a logical organiser for an orchard. I went with a hexagonal framework- trick to render asymmetrical! The asymmetry was in the random placing- sometimes at nodes, sometimes node left empty.


Grid - points- focus




With points on a grid I thought density could indicate or command focus- a dense cluster of points draws attention to that area. Conversely, a point in isolation also invites attention.
Interesting because I decided to exaggerate the focal points. Nailing the point a bit, ay?
Some discussion about points- all I could think of was the novel flatland...
A point has position but no extension. It is defined by its co-ordinates.


Path - linear - sequence



Linear does not mean straight!
It just means possessing one dimension, so it can curve all over the place...
The fluctuations create the sequence, statuary is placed to emphasise this.

And lastly, a bit of culinary master planning:

Plate

-with-
1 Pie
5 Potatoes
3 Carrots
100 Peas
Gravy


When I was asked to draw this I was reminded of a famous adage:
"The map is not the territory; the menu is not the meal"

I think this is a particularly apt subtitle for any exercise in master planning...

...also another case of curious coincidence, which I shall discuss below.

Michel Houellebecq has just published a new novel.
It is called La Carte et le territoire
(The map and the territory)

His first bestseller was les particules élémentaires.
This was translated as Atomised.
I think of molecular man, the body without organs, crossing the urban landscape- deterritorialised and primal.

But I digress...

The map is not the territory, the menu is not the meal.

The plate contains all the elements- it is the existing topography.
We then impose various elements on top of this, following some underlying organisational structure (in this case, a pea-grid), but obeying some predetermined rules as to how the elements are supposed to interrelate.

Split into groups, we began to embark on our final master planning exercise for the day.
Neil, Adele, Susan, Jim and I were tasked with creating a master plan for a theme park.
The master plan would consist of 1 A1 sheet with a site plan and 1 A1 sheet of text.

The master plan should consist of:

1. Organisational structure
2. A thematic concept
3. Spatial hierarchy and character
4. Description of the experience we are looking to induce
5. What assumptions have been made

We had to name 3 big ideas behind the plan


Okay, so we settled on a theme park for the elderly.

This gave us a thematic concept (and a "Big idea")
The organisational structure we utilised was a surgical glove.
The palm of the hand acts as a central node with meeting places and shops- all other areas radiate away from this, and offer different experiences (same size, apart from the central finger, which is a pier)
Our aim was to create an environment that is fun, sociable, stimulating, safe, comfortable and a little nostalgic for our target demographic without patronising them.


Our three big ideas were:

1. The theme itself- a theme park for the elderly, not for children and/or families
2. Sympathetic to the needs and desires of our target demographic without being patronising
3. Off road mobility scooter circuit- the first of its kind?


I think we responded well to the exercise.
I hope you will come and visit us at Sagaland... maybe not now, but certainly in a few years.
We'll be waiting for you


















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