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‘Cities Alive’ Workshop: Landscape Interface Studio and Arup collaboration


Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University and ARUP’s Landscape Architecture team recently collaborated on an innovative shared project, ‘Cities Alive Workshop’, devised to trial interdisciplinary graduate and practitioner outdoor learning in the context of ARUP’s ‘Cities Alive’ research report, undertaken by the ARUP Foresight Group.  12 post-graduate students from Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture were invited to take part in the one-day ‘Cities Alive Workshop’.

The workshop involved students from various areas of practice including MArch  Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2), MA Sustainable Design, MA Fashion, MA Film MakingMLA Landscape Architecture and PG Dip Landscape Architecture (LI accredited) plus MA Landscape + Urbanism – all courses from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University.  The event took place in Central London with the initial presentations at ARUP’s Head Quarters followed by site visits investigating 2 separate routes; an east-west axis running along Oxford Street between Tottenham Court Rd and Oxford Circus and a north-south axis running from Fitzroy Square in the north to Soho Square located just south of Oxford Street.

Students were asked to explore green infrastructure design solutions to help resolve contemporary urban issues such as air pollution.  The Cities Alive initiative targets rethinking green infrastructure and addresses the role of – trees, water, public spaces – in delivering measurable benefits to the quality of life in cities.  The workshop group was introduced to the Cities Alive report by joint author Tom Armour, Leader, Global Landscape Architecture, Arup.  Tom set out the case for using green-infrastructure in city planning and design; and the social, environmental and economic benefits.

The workshop was supported by Kingston University’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice (CHERP) to assist the development of a project that demonstrates LandscapeIS’ pedagogical approach to projects.  Live projects promote learning through direct action on the ground and encourage continuous consideration in response to findings and research. The Cities Alive Workshop asked students to assume responsibility for investigation, experimentation, and developing design proposals and outcomes thus engaging them intellectually, emotionally, and socially and enhancing an integrated learning experience.

Find out more about Architecture & Landscape and Design courses at Kingston University.

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