Students and staff from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Epsom teamed up with architect and design team Studio TILT to codesign their Quadrangle communal space ?? with just 48 hours to complete the project.
When UCA Executive Dean Dr Roni Brown started looking into the redesign of the University??s central courtyard, she believed the space should be designed and built by those who use it.
Dr Brown said: ?We engaged Studio TILT because of their experience in codesigning and comaking spaces that involve everyone in the process, not only to ensure the space will be well designed but more importantly it was practical and intuitive for those who will use and enjoy it. The experience our students gained from designing and making their own space at such an innovative level was invaluable.??
More than 30 people from UCA came together to build spaces designed in the first ever comake marathon. The comaking process encouraged skill sharing, mutual learning and shared experiences to further develop community and create a vibrant civic space for the students.
Studio TILT initially led a series of workshops with students and staff to understand the requirements for the space. They then created a sequence of architectural designs that give an identity and social function to the external quadrangle area inspired by some of UCA Epsom??s subjects, graph- ics and fashion, and by the creative input of those involved in the workshops.
The final designs were built over a 48 hours period including the Pier, a landmark structure in prime position in the Quadrangle and completely student centred democratic area. The timber structure was clad in CNC cut plywood and created an artificial landscape of layers, levels, screens and shelter within a form around the existing trees to accommodate a number of social and recreational activities decided by the students. The Flying Lines extend from the entrance way to the Quadrangle, bouncing off columns and rising and falling like a ship??s rigging. Higher than head height, the wires can be used to display graphical work, oversized prints and clothes from the fashion department.
The Shed is a presentation and market place for student work, each cubby hole can display an object or artefact acting as an intimate gallery for a student to have a solo space for their work, or as a retail space selling student work, food or refreshments. The form resembles the familiarity of a garden shed, but this concept is reinvented through CNC plywood construction.
?I think it fits in really well and adds a nice bit of colour to the university. We all now sit in there and chat, it??s a really nice area for people to so- cialise and meet. I love the design of the deck chairs too, really different.?? Design student, Sophia Leven. The deck chairs are dotted around the Quadrangle, each upholstered with graphical work by graduating students.
??To build the structures, staff and students created pieces of state of the art parametric design and CNC, alongside analogue craft skills includ- ing woodwork, metalwork, sign writing, gardening, landscaping and timber frame building,?? explains Oliver Marlow, Creative Director, Studio TILT. ?Those who use the space will ultimately have a sense of ownership as they helped to create a meaningful and useful environment for the University.??
The space is part of a long term project aimed at encouraging collaboration between students, giving them experience of working to a brief, whilst allowing them to take an active part in designing and building their studying environment.