A Simple Act – Architecture & Landscape Vertical Project 2014-15
School of Architecture & Landscape, Kingston University London.
Public space is where we live our lives, both as individuals in public and as a public. It comes in all shapes and sizes and gets used in ways that are often familiar, but which are sometimes unexpected.
To kick off the academic year students of the School of Architecture + Landscape worked across disciplines and years to forms small investigative teams exploring sites in London. As architects and landscape architects working on this project together we recognise the importance of good public space, yet it is not always designed, and not all designed public space is good. Sometimes the qualities which make public space successful can be very subtle and we need to look carefully and think creatively if we are to learn to recognise and respond to them and communicate their value to others.
With this as our collective goal, we started the year by exploring, activating and transforming a wide range of public spaces in London; perhaps for a moment or perhaps, in some small way, for the future; perhaps by ourselves or in dialogue with others.
One team focused on London’s trees. 47% of London is green space, with over 8 million trees, arguably the world’s largest urban forest. Yet the everyday Londoner is rarely aware of the nature surrounding them.
Their ‘Simple Act – A Space with Trees’ was to use mirrors to connect the everyday London to this nature that is already there. After exploring different ideas (sound, info graphics, tree-to-tree routes and mirrors) and then through extensive testing, the team determined that using a single mirror, strategically placed on the ground, would provide the most impact.
‘Accidental Public Space, South Bank Beach’ represents an area that is ephemeral, appearing at times and disappearing at others; made for public use using materials found on site, there by accident.