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Live Project Update: Week 3 (Part1)

October 14, 2012

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Week 3 brought with it the realisation that although we have been considering design interventions that could be applicable across multiple urban wild-scapes, we needed to understand Furnace Park in greater detail. This thinking began with a meeting with Dr Anna Jorgensen, senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield Landscape Department. Dr Jorgensen suggested establishing an understanding of suitable site uses from the existing site conditions, for example: Where catches the most sunlight? – This is where people are likely to congregate. What plants are growing well and where? She suggested we considered the site as different layers (cultural, historical, topographical, edges, circulation to list a few) and imagine our interventions as another temporary layer. As a starting point for this, she suggested we look at Atelier Le Balto’s work, using raised walkways to set a pedestrian route through existing or supplemented urban wild-scapes.

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http://www.lebalto-archipelago.eu/archipelago.htm

In fact a more rustic version of this approach has already been implemented on a neighbouring site to Furnace Park.

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Another issue raised in the meeting was the role of informal surveillance in helping people feel at ease whilst appropriating the site, and the issue of dead edges. Whilst clearing the vegetation away from the fence may make the site feel safer and more accessible, it would also diminish the sense of garden/wild-scape and of a light-touch approach. However, there can still be informal surveillance from the offices and high-rise residential buildings surrounding the site, and we hope to establish which buildings can directly view the site through 3D modelling.

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