University of Portsmouth (UK)
Somerstown is a district of Portsmouth which was largely rebuilt after the Second World War and boasts a diverse cultural history, much of which remains to be explored and documented. Somerstown Stories is a lottery funded local heritage initiative. It encourages the Portsmouth community to engage with the past, present and future of Somerstown through a close collaboration between various private and public organisations.
Following on from a year-long Diploma One, core-curriculum assignment, The Project Office were commissioned to co-ordinate a Design Charette to assist Year 09 students from the local Charter Academy School to explore their local urban context.
The event took place over one-day during which groups of school pupils discussed ideas and strategies with a Diploma Student mentor, enlisting a wide variety of media. This included text, sketches, models and verbal means of representation. The event concluded with a presentation from the groups to representatives from The University of Portsmouth, The Church of England and local interest groups.
The younger students who took part developed critical analysis and creative thinking skills, whilst the architecture students experienced direct contact and engagement with a local community, as an extension of their academic experience.
Research Question: Using architectural skills to encourage a local community to interact with their local environment