Featuring, University Of Liverpool: Liverpool Guild Of Students Kings College London: Creative Consultation Project
City Of Glasgow College: Library And Learning Space University Of Glasgow: World Changers Hoarding Glasgow Caledonian University: Heart Of Campus Project
iversity of Liverpool The Guild of Students at Uni-versity of Liverpool is an ex-traordinary space comprising
three linking buildings, each from a different architectural era. The Guild has an impres-sive history and reputation but over the years the interior and some aspects of the exterior had become difficult to navi-gate and fallen into disrepair. The University wanted to refurbish the Guild for a new generation of students and following a competition ap-pointed our environments and research teams.
The project had an ambi-tious timescale, yet the Uni-versity was keen to involve
our research team to listen to the student voice so we had to come up with a reliable quick and dirty method for gathering data. Our solution was to design and launch a controlled number of cultural probes, which were returned to us containing a wealth of information about the type of scheme that students wanted.
In addition to the timescale (Summer 2013 Spring 2014), the university also challenged our environments team to ex-press the Guilds environmen-tal policies through the design and the selection of materials. As a result, the street-scape the main thoroughfare
through the building features linoleum, gabion cages and timber cladding. While the courtyard a multi-functional space including a refectory, performance space, bar and club features a stone clad bar, stackable rubber stepped seats/benches and parts of the original dance floor which we managed to rescue. Finally the Sphinx bar, a smaller more intimate bar space features a huge installation of reclaimed timber.
One of the biggest challenges was to simplify the space and make it more legible. This was largely taken care of via the planning and rationaliza-
tion exercise. However a full way finding package was still required. Our team provided both high and low-tech solu-tions, from dynamic displays to writable surfaces. Graphic artwork was also required for the space and both this and the sign package were influenced by the Guilds new logo. How-ever the University allowed us some scope to play with ideas about industry, landscape and even beat culture within the graphics including a large ceiling installation in the street which features the lyrics from Our Alma Mater on the Hill which has been in the Univer-sity songbook since 1906.
Liverpool Guild Of Students
14.25m revamp to bring the historic building into the 21st Century Nominated for the FX Awards 2014
A cultural probe is a method used to gather insights about peoples everyday lives. The cultural probes consist of a small pack, which comprise tools such as maps, postcards, cameras or diaries along with instructions for tasks that par-ticipants should perform, and they should be customized to suit each different project.
Over the years we have designed a number of different cultural probes and enjoyed mixed levels of success with these. The quality of informa-tion is always excellent but there are often low returns. On this occasion we had access to the guild officers and staff and were therefore confident that we would get a great response.
Cultural Probes should be fun so in this instance we
wanted to theme the pack around education. The pack issued to participants was a standard A4 concertina file with different sections for different tasks.
Tasks included maps and stickers which were intended to help students to note the type of atmospheric, emo-tional and practical geography they currently have and would like in future from their space. They also included narrative aids and character cards to help them to introduce their students to us.
We received 100% of the probes at the close of this stage and they provided solid information that was able to be included in the brief for ourselves and the wider design team.
Nomad News #001 Recent Projects5
StatiSticS 02 Active research weeks 01 Set of cultural probes including the following activi-ties:
1 week diaryMapping exerciseProfiling cardsHeadlines exerciseImage capture
Key inSightS Working with a small group of sixeight students through-out the project keeps the proj-ect moving at a good pace while maintaining the student voice throughout. Flexibility should not be limited to learning spaces. Flexible service spaces will assist the Guild and their societies to deliver events and information in a range of engaging ways. Students are proud of the Guilds historic and political background and want to see this represented physically in their scheme.
gs College L
on In 2011 Kings College London commissioned our Research and Communications teams to undertake a unique project at their historic Strand Cam-pus in London.
The College wanted to re-furbish the Quadrangle build-ing which lies between the Kings Building and the world famous Somerset House. The College have high expecta-tions for the project and want it to be an innovative space that provides a new Heart for the campus. To achieve a new innovative space they felt they needed an innovative process and subsequently commissioned our team to undertake a unique, user centred research/consultation project that would culminate in a brief to be issued as part of an architectural competi-tion. Once completed we
worked with RIBA to compile and issue this brief across Eu-rope. We were then retained as design and innovation consultants to help judge the competition and advise on the project direction.
The RIBA competition for the redesign of the Quadrangle at Kings College London was launched on 25th April 2012 and closed on 1st June at 2pm. The College received expres-sions of interest from over 100 architectural practices across Europe. The shortlisted architects were Barozzi Veiga, Carme Pinos, Eric Parry, Hen-ley Halebrown Rorrison, Zaha Hadid and Hall McKnight, who were the eventual winners.
Creative Consultation Project
20m redevelopment of famous Strand campus Staff and student consultation informs international architectural brief
StatiSticS 06 Active research months 3956 Visitors to blog 236 Followers on Twitter 768 Tweets 07 Days on site 04 Observations 220 Soft interviews 18 Formal interviews 07 Polls 22 Questions 428 Votes 12 Workshop participants 05 Creative workshops 04 Site visits 01 Pecha Kucha 01 Literature review
Given the scale and ambition of the project we felt that It was critical that we include all stakeholders. To do this we designed a bespoke re-search plan and at its core we placed a blog with associated social media. This would act as a portal to the project and create an easily accessible lo-cation where all information could be gathered. The blog hosted news stories, a diary of dates for upcoming con-sultation events and encour-aged interaction via themed weekly polls.
In addition to the online portion of the project we con-
structed a plan that included soft interviews with students across three campuses, formal interviews with staff and aca-demics and a design group. This design group was formed from volunteers drawn from the academic and service staff as well as students, and they took part in a number of pro-grammed creative workshops and site visits, some of which were suggested by students via the blog. Finally, to en-sure we had explored all areas we included a review of cur-rent literature on the topic of learning environments.
Key inSightS Students spend longer peri-ods of time on campus when there is a strong sense of com-munity and identity. Sense of community and identity on campus is stronger in places where there is a cen-tral orientation space and where information/communication streams are clearly visible. Students would prefer a large number of small, more utilitarian workspaces to a limited number of comfort-able, more spacious places. Social media is popular on campus and can be used to communicate with the stu-dent body. It is not, yet, as successful in the academic field as was first anticipated.
Nomad News #001 Recent Projects7
Library and Learning Space
In the Spring of 2013 we were appointed to refurbish the old refectory at City of Glasgow College and created a whole new floor for the library service.
The college was in desper-ate need of new library space, including an increase in the variety of study spaces avail-able. However, this was a temporary fix as the College is part of the larger Campus Glasgow project, which will include a new library. This meant that we had two major restrictions, 1. timescale the college needed the space open for the beginning of the Autumn term, 2. budget the overall budget was tight and there were an number of invisible improvements necessary that reduced the budget available for the inte-rior further.
In addition to the above issues the space itself was problematic. The refectory space was difficult, as it com-prised one large open area with no windows and poor lighting. The main challenge that the college tasked us with was to create a selection of zoned spaces, that would not present any visual barriers to the staff, while also improving the light quality. Previously we had experimented with structures that lower ceili
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