Focus 4 (2006 – 2007)

 Higher Education Academy –

definately a worth while day …we got free pens!! kidding today was a great opportunity to try seeing the whole business of assessment in higher education from the flip side; seeing what issues/constraints the educators come up against. Our contribution was a workshop on active learning sets; which Pat altered to active learning environments as this is a more accurate description of the learning method we are part of. 

Manchester/ SLIC meet –

This weekend I attended my first SLIC meeting, was mainly about introducing the new rep’s (including myself) both to each other and to how SLIC works. For those of you that don’t know SLIC is the Student Landscape Institute Council. The meeting created a great opportunity to see a new city which can never be ignored, especially on a focus week! (the following post details our brief glimpse of Manchester)

Shifting Sands –


Oh to be at the forefront of design regarding seaside regeneration; to be in the know!

The seminar ‘shifting sands’ called on wide variety of speakers from the various fields of design and also figures from the public realm; also attracting an even wider range of delegates, from us as students to designers and various council members from around the country all hoping to insight and inspiration to take back to their own seaside area. The speakers’ covered a wide range of topics all under the broad umbrella of seaside regeneration. Admittedly I can’t remember much of what was said between the 9:30 start and about 11 but after a coffee my cognitive cells seemed to brighten up absorbing as much as possible from the wave of insight and info that was directed at us.

David Marks – Marks Barfield designers of i360 Tower at Brighton – I hate to pick up on this but presentation is important.  As a speaker this guy was less than inspiring! Slow, disorganised, not good for selling a project which lets face it needs a bit of enthusiastic advertising especially at a seminar which is not exactly trying to promote iconic structures as part of regeneration! Further more Mr Marks was saying that the design of this glorified theme park ride was forward thinking when it is merely futuristic.

Thomas Heatherwick and Jane Wood – East Beach Café (Littlehampton) – inspirational speaker good explanation of his journey through the design process; public up to date so less opposition; unsure on the use of corten. 

Maria Smith – Studio Weave, The longest Bench – What can I say, FABULOUS!! Beautiful visual presentation backed up by a comprehensive verbal explanation. Showed real depth and individuality; much public consultation. The proposal should create flow. Beautiful exploration of form.

Wayne Hemingway –South Coast design forum; an amazing/amusing presentation but I wasn’t left with a particularly strong conclusion let alone a positive one what does this man actually do?  

Victoria Jessen – Turner Contemporary .  . . dont even get me started on this one!

Asif Khan – Brazilian case study, another fantastic! Expermentation with material, form and the concept of temporal design. Another project where public consultation and participation were key to success.

Elsley Primary – Brent

RSA Lecture –

Speaker – Jason Prior (EDAW)

A very engaging speaker which is always a good start if you are having to listen to someone for that amount time. The lecture focused on you guessed it, urban regeneration and public spaces using three high profile projects as case studies (both past and present). Manchester city centre which having only just visited was a well timed explanation of the scheme behind the design. Blackpool which i unfortunately hadn’t visited but was very interested in hearing about the way they are tackling the issues that surround the design of the land/sea inter-face and finally probably the largest and most high profile project, the lower Lea Valley (Olympic site). key quote: ‘Public realm is about everyone; marrying of natural systems with human activity.’

Friday Late @ V and A – ‘animate’ –


Another great turnout for a monthly event that should definately be on your calender. This month’s event was centered around ‘animate’ and included a multitude of workshops, installations and lectures. The bizzarely named ‘phonographantasmascope’ and an installation which completely captivated me was ‘shadow monsters’ by Philip Worthington (who has an v.stylish flash website) were favourites this friday


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