Thursday, 1 August 2013

Urban Design Academy - ready to go

As you may know, all next week we're holding the PLACE Urban Design Academy 2013 for ages 14-19 in Bangor. Thanks to support from North Down Borough Council, admission to the event is free - but you need to book online in advance: click here.

So what have we got in store? Check out the day-by-day rundown below...

Inside the former Woodsides Dept Store, 69-73 Main Street, Bangor - the venue for next week's PLACE Urban Design Academy. Photo: Conor McCafferty.

Monday 5 August: Getting to Know Bangor

09:30 Arrival and registration

10:00 Start

On Monday, we'll be introducing lots of interesting ideas about architecture, urban design and the built environment. Plus each participant will receive their pack for the week, which includes a sketchbook, disposable camera, drawing materials and other goodies. Drawing, sketching, photographing and writing will form a key part of the whole week.

Then we're going to go on a sketching and mapping adventure of Bangor, picking out interesting buildings and streets and looking at all sorts of urban design, from decades-old to brand new...

Mapping and sketching are two key tools to begin to understand how places work. Image courtesy Andrew Molloy.
After lunch, in a session led by Andrew Molloy, who is a PhD student at University of Ulster, the teams will start to form their own ideas - analysing the town and identifying what's missing - using large maps.

16:00 Finish


Tuesday 6 August: Charette Day - Designing a new project in Bangor

10:00 Start

A Charette is a fast-paced and collaborative way to test out urban ideas. Photo: Robin Cordiner.

On Tuesday, Architect Ciaran Mackel will reveal a site in Bangor and lead the groups on a process of designing a new project for the site - from scratch - in just one day.

This is a charette-style day: visiting the site, generating ideas, drawing, refining concepts, agreeing, disagreeing, drawing some more... and finally, each team presents their ideas to the group. It's like a crash course in architecture & urban design, based on real sites in Bangor - and it promises to be a lot of fun.

16:30 Finish


Wednesday 7 August: Model making and building visits

10:00 Start

On Wednesday we're getting to grips with another key skill in architecture & design: model making. Participants will learn the key skills of designing and building architectural models, and create their own scale model from scratch.

Model-making at last year's Academy. Photo: Sarah Jones.

Then in the afternoon, we're going on a building visit to the brand new Aurora Leisure Centre, getting an insight into how it was planned, designed and built from one of the key people involved in the project - and on the way back, we'll take a spin into the lovely Walled Garden, which was just recently redesigned.

The Bangor Aurora Leisure Centre nearing completion a few months ago - venue for our site visit on Wednesday. Photo:

16:30 Finish


Thursday 8 August: The Past in the Present

10:00 Start

On Thursday, we're thinking about the older buildings in Bangor: the town's rich architectural heritage, which is a key part of making it such a popular place to visit.

But what happens when an older building is no longer in use? Do you tear it down and build something new? Do you find a new use to put in it?

Bangor seafront in times past. Historic conservation vs. modern architecture is always a hot topic of debate, which we'll be getting stuck into on Thursday.

With the help of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, and For a Better Bangor, we're going to look at some of Bangor's key historic buildings and imagining their future...

16:30 Finish


Friday 9 September: Designing Public Space

10:00 Arrive

And finally, on Friday, we'll be taking a closer look at the stuff the streets are made of: public realm and landscape architecture. We've enlisted the help of Catherine Adams, a Landscape Architect, to delve into designing good streetscapes, landscaping and public realm.

Participants will be challenged to come up with their own improvements to Bangor's Main Street: how can we make the places we live, work and play as good as they can be?

Bangor from above. A lot of elements have to come together to make a good place to live, work and play.

Then in the afternoon - after some pizza - we'll be giving out prizes for photo of the week, sketchbook of the week, plus a few more special prizes.

16:00 Finish


So, are you ready? If you haven't signed up yet, there's still a few places left: click here.

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