I enrolled into the Landscape Architecture course at the University of Sheffield, anticipating that the course would teach me to explore the dealings of the outside environment in some dynamic way. Over the past three years, I learned the unique aspect of our profession; that Landscape Architecture is a field that has historical roots but embraces the most important issues of our time, from creating sustainable and resilient places, protecting valuable resources to designing spaces of beauty, meaning, wellness and diversity.
With a strong urban/rural feel, Sheffield is a great skeletal city for studying Landscape Architecture. The tutors in the department do make the very best of this by taking the class on trips throughout the city and its outskirts. I have seen many different environments now that opened my eyes to what a “landscape” could really entail.
Space Making Module – 1st Year, Semester 1
Our first project was to design the Arts Tower Concourse, with the theme of “ephemeral” in mind. The theme can develop into designs that perhaps demonstrated capturing water on site for a short while after it has rained or being able to hear the sounds of the wind on a windy day. It was up to us to think of the creative possibilities around the meaning of this word. The module required us to produce a plan and supporting drawings, as well as making a 1:500 model with plasticine. I was fascinated by the ephemeral qualities of sound waves and playing with the idea of the ever-changing rhythm of sound getting quiet to loud. I began shaping the concourse with physical qualities. This for me resulted in, for example, having bamboo planting that captured the sounds of wind or varying the mass of plantings to convey sound waves ideology etc. The most important lesson from this module for me was how powerful it can be to have a strong concept because my exploration on sound waves allowed me to develop many ideas related to my own design and brief.
Exploration and Intervention Module – Year 2 Semester 1
This project started out as a group project where each group was assigned to an area within the Cultural Industries Quarter (CIQ) of Sheffield to do a series of social experiment, design work and exhibition of how redundant spaces within this large area could be brought back to life. The work shown on this page is the final stage where we were asked individually to design one of the spaces within our group’s allocated area. The site consists of a roofless abandoned building and leftover space. My design is an indoor-outdoor café area that merges the built form with the landscape. This project was extremely enjoyable. I was inspired and encouraged to think as creatively as possible to push the boundaries of mundane design ideas. Having the chance to brainstorm and create designs, as a team was fun as we got to bounce ideas off one another and gain the confidence to be more outspoken with our ideas.
Urban Design Module – Year 3, Semester 1
The integrated project in our last year was concentrated in Castlegate, an old market area in Sheffield. The brief was to work around the site’s physical constraints and opportunities to create a Riverside Park. It was highly an independent project, left open-ended to combine everything we have learned in the past three years and put into practice. The process took us right from the initial design brainstorming and master-planning stage to detail design with construction and planting design. Thinking of the idea of evolution and physical uses of rocks, I began developing some complex design layers in my construction design, planting design and even in the way I would present my final drawings. It was not an easy process but a very rewarding one. All the stages involved in this project allowed me to take ownership of my own ideas and to resolve the challenges presented on the site to fit specifically to my concept.