Friday, 24 September 2010

Architectural Design. Project 1

Putting ideas in places.

Duration: 6 weeks

Tutors: Chris Lowry, Clare Slifer, Sarah Webb, Mark Walker.

Learning Outcomes:

1. The demonstration of knowledge of the ways that analysis, research, context and development of a brief inform a design proposal.

2. The demonstration of a knowledge of how architectural histories and theories inform the design process and the ability to form considered judgements about a design's qualities in relation to these and to the work of others.

3. The ability to communicate research findings, design ideas and proposals using appropriate and clear visual, verbal and written methods.

'At the smallest increment of time, architecture engages human perception, shaping momentary phenomena in response to the movement of the body in space' Adam Yansky. Architecture research office, New York.

Every day we traverse Edinburgh between our destinations often with little or no attention to the spaces we are moving through. This could be a consequence of anything from our familiarity with a particular journey, preoccupation with our thoughts of the day or the simple perceived ordinariness of the situation we are moving through. However, if something interrupted this, a new physical addition to the territory of our journey, could it change our customary perception? Assist us? Inform us? Curiously engage us?

If we retraced a journey as above, but on this occasion, equipped with a purposeful awareness , tasked with an agenda of urban analysis for instance, how different might our perception be? Urban analysis in the traditional models of say Cullen or Lynch might have us straining to record interesting serial vision sequences, identifying 'nodes' with a fervent map pin or endeavouring to collate a myriad of digital j.peg panoramas. All very good as we return to the studio with a collection of static one dimensional evidence of what we have witnessed. Necessary though these types of established medium are, we believe they are deficient in one very significant aspect, the representation of continuous spatial experience. They lack duration.

This project asserts that you do not employ these methodologies. In contrast you will employ your own agenda of analysis, an alternative method, informed by your intimate experience of a journey in exploring the emotive and sensory capacity of the spaces you move through combined with your awareness of time and movement.


"We are not interested in the precise reconstruction of movement, which has already been broken up and analysed. We are involved only in the area of movement which produces sensation, the memory of which still palpitates in our awareness" Bragaglia. Futurist Photodynamism. (1913)

Working individually, you are asked in the first instance to consider an external area of urban space in Edinburgh in respect of how it is used, occupied, moved through, engaged with etc, by the public. Your initial exploration should be vigorous and broad taking in the extents of the context described in the plan below. What are the spatial characteristics you can identify at a macro and micro scale?

You will identify a 'journey' contained within this area that you consider relevant to the premise of this project. A 'part' of this 'journey' will form the basis for more detailed scrutiny.

Three parameters with respect to the 'journey part' must be considered at this stage;

-- identified 'journey part' must be a minimum of 100 metres in length.

-- it must have both an external and internal public space associated with it that can identify as being of particular interest to you.

-- it must engage with the Water of Leith, at a point or segment along the stretch between South Forth Street and The Shore.

Secondly, you will locate a site along your 'journey part' and draw on your conclusions informing a design brief proposal for an intervention which could contribute positively to the experience of that space on that 'journey part'. What contribution will your intervention make? How might the public benefit from it? Enjoy it? Adopt it? Engage with it? In effect we are asking, 'Can architecture be employed in offering a physical event that might constitute some positive deviation from an otherwise, apparent, ordinary journey? Could this punctuation negotiate or reconfigure a particular path of movement of the pedestrian with an engaging presence?

Two design parameters must be adhered to;

-- The overall dimensions of your intervention cannot exceed a footprint of 25msq and a height of 8m.

-- You are limited to a choice of 4 material types to make your intervention. This choice includes structure.

This project both in ethos, for and context, is intrinsically linked into the major design project for the year and this will become apparent to you as we progress through the semester. To this end, your immediate and sustained engagement with this first project is essential.


This project concerns itself with the area of North Leith in Edinburgh as indicated below, primarily that bounded by Ferry Road and Coburg Street and Dock place to the North, South Forth street and Anderson place to the West, Bonnington Road, Cables Wind and the shore to the South and Ocean Drive to the East.


In communicating your findings you are encouraged, along with the required information described below, to employ whatever medium you consider best embodies what you have observed; drawing, photography, digital media, dance, painting, etc...

We must emphasise, communication is crucial to the successful understanding of your idea. Tutorials and reviews should be considered as events which must be prepared for and exploited by you to gain insight from staff and colleagues' experience.

In assisting the communication of your 'design philosophy', amongst other required material, we will be employing the pecha kucha presentation phenomena, some useful links included below. As an introduction to your final assessment you will present, using power point, 20 slides , each of which is on view for 15 seconds with your accompanying 'live' verbal narration resulting in a 5 minute presentation. Note that slides are of an image only, no text is to appear on the slides but please use your name as the title of your powerpoint.

Final Submission requirements

Issued separately.

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