Design Lab

 

Between the modules ID Space and ID Place we took part in a ‘Design Lab’.  This involved:

  • researching and measuring for drawing and annotating site plans

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  • encouraging our creativity through representing a series of words visually, working on our images until we had three we were happy with:

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img_2572This is a useful creative tool in coming up with visuals for our designs.

After looking at Hallam Square we were asked to design something to go in it.  Before doing this we watched videos on Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals, and Daniel Libeskind’s design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

These videos were incredibly illuminating.  Zumthor has created something exceptional in his thermal baths.  Just through watching the video I felt like I had been transported to another world, where time is suspended and everything is absolutely dripping in atmosphere, where all of your senses are immersed in another world!

Libeskind has created something so powerful with his Jewish Museum.  He has aimed to convey through the building some of the feelings and themes that are associated with being Jewish during the war – displacement, disorientation, fear and horror.  In some ways I feel reticence and unease about this – how can we possibly understand what people experienced, and is it not insensitive for us to try in this way?  I am sure that Libeskind’s intention is an honourable one – for us to always remember the persecution and genocide of the Jewish people during the second world war.  He does this through creating an embodied experience for visitors to the museum, perhaps with the aim of encouraging empathy, and an awareness that may not be achieved through other means.

‘The descent leads to three underground axial routes, each of which tells a different story. The first leads to a dead end – the Holocaust Tower.  The second leads out of the building and into the Garden of Exile and Emigration, remembering those who were forced to leave Berlin.’ (from http://libeskind.com/work/jewish-museum-berlin/).

My design for Hallam Square is an open green space at its centre.  I have responded to the surroundings by continuing the round forms of the steps and seating.  I have chosen a shell shape, with the intention of using the golden section for its form.  The garden would spiral inwards, gently inclining, to enable movement for people with mobility difficulties, towards a small garden at its centre.   There would be brightly coloured benches at regular intervals to inject some colour into the rather grey surroundings.  They would strongly contrast with the greenery to support navigation of the space for visually impaired people.

The garden would consist of native wildflowers. This would attract pollinators, and again inject some much needed colour into the space.  Planting for pollination is incredibly important due to the declining bee population; ‘a world without pollinators would be devastating for food production.’ (http://sos-bees.org/)

Rough model of my idea:

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To continue the themes of bright colours and attracting wildlife there would be custom bug hotels.  I had the idea of using old felt tip pen tops to create these.  My daughter gets through a lot of pens and this type of plastic is not currently recyclable through the blue bin system in Sheffield, so it would be making use of materials that would normally be thrown away (more research is required though to ensure that this is in fact a suitable material!) Here’s my prototype:

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