In previous years, university students of the built environment had been invited to submit work that had been carried out as part of their curriculum on planning and urban design courses. This year however, the Designing Places student award heralded a new approach to engaging with universities. Students across Scotland, whether a novice or more experienced in masterplanning, were invited to participate in a one-day live masterplanning class. The event was simply marketed with an emphasis on interaction and learning - with no preparation required by students - all that was required was to simply turn up!
The response to participate was overwhelming, with over sixty acknowledgements of interest from students from a range of backgrounds, including planning, architecture, surveying and urban design. The first thirty names were selected, and the Design Competition was held on Saturday February 27, 2010 at The Lighthouse in Glasgow. The event was run in conjunction with Mactaggart and Mickel Homes Ltd, Proctor and Matthews Architects and Waterman Boreham Engineers.
View images of the event
The day was led and introduced by Susie Stirling, with assistance from Sophie Corbett, both from Architecture and Place, Scottish Government. To set the context, the morning consisted of a series of short lectures by leading design professionals including a presentation on architecture and urban design by Stephen Proctor of Proctor and Matthews Architects and a lecture by Ali Malik, Principal Design Engineer at Waterman Boreham on transport planning and engineering.
Following the lectures, the students were allocated into five teams of six. The teams were pre-selected to ensure that there was a range of students with different backgrounds and interests. They were then given the task of applying their place-making skills to create a masterplan for a site called 'Polnoon', which is located to the south of Eaglesham village in East Renfrewshire. During the course of the exercise, the students were shown how to undertake vehicle tracking, calculate visibility splays and use the B-plan as a tool to identify roads, buildings and open space, and to apply these techniques to their masterplans. The aim was to ensure hands-on learning and creative responses. In particular, there was an emphasis on drawing - no matter at what standard.
By the end of an intensive but very creative day, each team had produced detailed masterplans for the site and were asked to present their ideas to the other students and the design professionals in the format of a crit session.
The competition was high but the winning team who illustrated collaboration, realism and delivery was called 'Fly-Green' and comprised of:
David Baxter of The University of Glasgow
Nazan Kocak of Edinburgh College of Art
Dhira Kulkarni of The University of Dundee
Jennifer Mullen of Heriot-Watt University
Rebecca Oakes of The University of Aberdeen, and
Erica Um of The University of Dundee
Andrew Mickel, Director of Mactaggart and Mickel Homes Ltd gave book tokens to the winners and made a short presentation.
Fly Green were subsequently invited to the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (SAQP) on Thursday March 11, 2010 at The Hub, Edinburgh and were presented with their certificates by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney MSP. Later that day, the team were also invited to Lochgelly where they met Andres Duany and the DPZ design team at the Lochgelly SSCI Charrette.
Although it was specified from the start of the competition that there would be no financial prize it was explained that the winning team would be given further opportunities to work on, and experience, other live master-planning projects led by the Scottish Government in the future.
Overall, by changing the format of the Designing Places Award, a stronger link has been created with universities, with many students having since written to express their thanks and enthusiasm to participate in similar events in the future.....the Design Competition even got students out of bed on a Saturday…!!
For further information on the Designing Places Award please contact Sophie Corbett or telephone her 0131 244 7087.