STORIES OF SHELTER - Sketch Models

Shona and I are running a series of workshops with a group of women in Glasgow, in conjunction with the Village Story Telling Centre and Clydebank Womens Aid funded by Women’s Fund for Scotland. The workshop series explores Stories of Shelter and in this weeks workshop we made some sketch models:

“This week The ladies were asked to make five sketch models in 25 minutes, with whatever materials they felt like using. They were encouraged to make, to not over think, and to combine the last three workshops into producing shapes, and shelters, and sculptures that were subconsciously reflecting all that they had learnt in the first three workshops, about scale and massing, light and shadow, and spatial planning and architectural sections.”

This is the result - a wonderful collection of sketch models, that will be drawn on to produce a more refined shelter design in next weeks workshop.

STORIES OF SHELTER - Scale & Massing

Shona and I are running a series of workshops with a group of women in Glasgow, in conjunction with the Village Story Telling Centre and Clydebank Womens Aid funded by Women’s Fund for Scotland. The workshop series explores Stories of Shelter and in this weeks workshop we explored Scale & Massing:

‘In this session we explored space and scale. We started by doing some physical exercises exploring our bodies in relation to the space. We did den building and told a story inside the structure we made. We then moved on to learning about architectural ‘Sections’ and designed a fictional ideal shelter space. ”I sit awake at night planning this stuff, my dream house.” - one participant commented on her dream shelter’

This workshop explored how we affect space with our bodies, how to make your space your own, and what different levels of space mean to different people. The ladies were shown how to create architectural sections, and asked to draw a place where they felt safe and secure, and sheltered. The spaces ranged in size, complexity and in general arrangement. It was fantastic to see such a variation of what a home/shelter means to an individual.


Take a look at the sketch sections the ladies produced. They only had half an hour to sketch. No pencils, no practice, just straight in with the pens and ideas. They were building on their previous session of looking at how light and shadow would affect the space as well, and they learned how to relay information through an architectural section. We will build on these later in the sessions.

 
 

STORIES OF SHELTER - Light & Shadow

Shona and I are running a series of workshops with a group of women in Glasgow, in conjunction with the Village Story Telling Centre and Womens Aid. The workshop series explores Stories of Shelter and in this weeks workshop we explored Light & Shadow: 

'In the first session the participants were introduced to and independently experimented with light and shade. They did this first from a structural design perspective by creating model boxes and practically experimenting with the effects of light and shade. Then we considered light and shade in emotional and metaphorical contexts by adapting their box’s to be the symbolic setting of a story with a central female protagonist positioned within. At the end of the session a participant remarked, "We started making boxes, it ended up being about life."'

We made simple boxes, cutting out apertures, shapes, adding texture and colour to explore what effect light and shadow had on the space. This led to discussions about how the space made us feel, was it secure, relaxing, open, shrine like, calming? How does light and shadow affect your Shelter, what does it mean to have four walls and a roof? 

Take a look at the end results. An absolutely gorgeous set of models, all with completely different qualities. How would you feel in these spaces? Feel free to comment below.

STORIES OF SHELTER

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This Autumn I'm very much looking forward to working with Shona Cowie from The Village Story Telling Centre to run a series of architectural model making workshops for Womens Aid surrounding the topic of SHELTER.

We'll be working with a select group of around 10 women from a local Women's Aid collective which provides information, support and refuge, if needed, for women, children & young people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

We'll be exploring themes of Scale & Massing; Light & Shadow; Spatial Awareness; and Sound to discover the stories of SHELTER resulting in a series of architectural models that deliver a range of alternative spaces which incorporate powerful stories and promote awareness of the topic within the local community.

Our intention is to advance this project a stage further with another group in building a structure that can be displayed publicly to highlight and promote the Stories of Shelter.

DESIGN, BUILD, ARCHITECTURE

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I thought I'd update the blog to reflect where I am now and what I'm doing with design, building and architecture. For those of you who read the 'What's a Part Two to do?' blog, where I questioned how I was expected to reach Part II without any financial help, you'll be pleased to hear that my appeal was successful, and I was granted half the money by SAAS towards the Part II Professional Diploma in Architecture course at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. I am halfway through the course now and enjoying it tremendously. I've had several opportunities to build things, enjoyed a couple of group design projects and have learnt an awful amount of information about the wider context of sustainability and adaptation in the built environment. Learning about the various political, environmental and societal subjects in conjunction with the design and architecture is and will continue to be vital to my understanding of architecture within the built environment. I can use the course to test ideas, not necessarily strictly to do with structure, design and construction of buildings but across a wide variety of related subjects. The implementation of all of this knowledge starts in June with our final major project that gives us a chance to produce our own brief and architectural solution to explore our ideas in finer detail.

Some of my models and sketches :

The course itself is one residential week every month for eighteen months - September through to the following January. We share with our fellow students, two to a room and we have our own bar, studio areas, outdoor classrooms, sauna and wealth of nature on our doorsteps. With our familiar routines and intensely packed weeks, there is definitely a fine line on where to call home, CAT or our 'real lives'. There is a real community and love for all who attend the course, our tutors and the staff and volunteers at CAT and the wider community. We've found our little tribe and it feels wonderful.

In addition to being able to attend CAT, the 'What's a Part Two to do?' blog also led to an opportunity to work for Orkidstudio, an architectural charity with projects across Africa, to Project Manage the build of a new school for girls in Sierra Leone. I spent four months there in 2014 from February to June and unfortunately had to return to the UK due to Ebola. Happy to report that the crisis is stabilising and would love to get back out there to finish the building, you can read about our progress on the Orkidstudio website here : Swawou Project

I also had the chance to get involved with Tog Studio summer of 2014, and took part in their summer build, which was an extension of the boathouse in Tiree. Happy to be heading back to Tiree for the month of August this summer to work with the directors of Tog Studio on various other projects and on site construction with a local contractor.

During my time away from CAT I have been working for DENHAM / BENN as a consultant, really enjoying designing on a daily basis, and being part of a growing architectural practice. Lots of opportunities to push the boundaries of design and collaborate with interesting clients and consultants.

So, lots on my plate with grand plans for the year, culminating in my final architectural student project and hopefully a Part II and Professional Diploma in Architecture. The connections I'm making and the experiences I'm gathering are shaping me to be the kind of architect that I could only dream of, and I love being a part of making my dreams come true.