Two-day design challenge explores collaboration and creativity

Whole School Event 2018

This year’s ‘Whole School Event’ saw our undergraduates and postgraduate students exploring ideas of place-making and community engagement to create design proposals for Manchester’s Medieval Quarter as well as a collaborative artistic installation.

The two-day event, which was run in collaboration with Landscape Architects Planit-IE, was based around a new linear city park - one of a series of Manchester based projects on which Planit is currently working.

The event, held on 7th and 8th November, brought together students across all year groups, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, and was an opportunity for them to interact with and learn from those outside of their course.

Students explored the project site on the banks of the River Irwell with staff from the Department of Landscape Architecture, before arriving in the workshops of Standard Practice, where they were tasked with creating a carved Lino block that reflected their responses to the site.

Returning to the Arts Tower for Day 2, the students worked in teams to develop their proposals for the site, before presenting their ideas. They then created a large scale, collaborative print installation, using their individual Lino blocks.

Organised by Andy Clayden from the Department of Landscape Architecture, the event was designed to explore techniques for involving communities with Landscape Architecture practice.

Andy said: “each year, practice brings something different to this event and I think this year the combination of workshops, place-making and site visits worked really well. From the conversations that I have had with students from different years groups, they appear to have really enjoyed and benefited from this experience. I think it is massively helpful in creating an opportunity to bring the different year groups together which has many longer term benefits.”

Frank Fitzpatrick, Project Landscape Architect at Planit-IE and graduate of the MLA Landscape Architecture said: “our aim was to encourage participants to think differently about what makes a successful place. We challenged students to put people at the heart of the project from inception to long after completion – and they delivered. Some fantastic responses emanated from the workshop; creative, relevant and absolutely of the locale.”

“It was an absolutely pleasure to work with students and staff, and on a personal note, to return to the Arts Tower where I have both studied and tutored. Joining forces with co-creatives, Standard Practice - now part of the Planit-IE family - added another dimension, and we felt we gained so much from the students and the experience of leading their Whole School Event.”

A photo gallery from the event can be viewed here.