Live Projects in Landscape Architecture 2020 & 2021
Although we have had a very different year of learning due to the pandemic, it still hasn’t stopped Landscape Architecture undergraduate students getting involved in a range of live projects, set by real clients.
Final year students have worked for the past months on 3 live community projects in and around Leeds. Last month students presented their final design and ideas to their clients.
Leeds East Academy
A group of students designed a restorative garden for their client at Leeds East academy School this week. Through Covid and remote learning, students have consulted online with children from the school and liaised with their teachers to come up with some exciting designs offering sensory, educational and relaxing outdoor spaces. The school will be using their designs to raise funding for the project.
'I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students from Leeds Beckett University and being part of their project to design a sensory garden for our school. They listened intently to our brief and worked hard to gain the trust of the students in school. Their ideas were incredibly creative and they had the ability to adapt the plans to ensure the final design was exactly what we wanted. The quality of their work has been phenomenal and I am so excited of the prospect of being able to materialise the beautiful, educational, active and tranquil garden that has been designed for us.'
Lisa Clark, Vice principal at Leeds East Academy.
Canal and River Trust
A group of students worked with the Canal and River Trust on a neglected space near Skinners Yard, Armley. Ideas included designing a community hub providing a productive landscape, pollinator shrubs, a destination for waterside activities such as canoeists and fishing, as well as a stopping place for canal users of the canal corridor itself.
With ‘wellbeing on your doorstep’ at the top of the Canal and River Trusts agenda, students explored creating better access through legibility and regeneration of green infrastructure along routeways to the canal side from Armley and New Wortley. These green routeways explored bio diversity, plants for reducing pollutants from roadways, pollinators to increase insect activity and productive planting for potential edible landscapes. Public art was explored to help regenerate activity and identity within these routeways.
Students worked on regenerating Meanwood’s central streetscape, which included a 1960’s precinct, independent shops and cafes, community centre and small pocket parks. They have been working with ‘Lemon Balm’ a horticultural therapy and community consultation company which has been the main consultation force on the 'Love Meanwood' project, working with Meanwood Valley Partnership.
"The students from Leeds Beckett's Landscape Architecture course gave thoughtful consideration to the detail of our community project. We set them a task to look at regenerating Meanwoods streetscape. They produced some excellent designs which we're planning to progress and hopefully realise in the future."
Isabel Swift, Lemon Balm, Designer, Director & Therapeutic Horticulturalist
^ New community precinct ideas by Chloe Hadfield
‘In celebration of the dark skies’
Petra Young, Funding & Development manager at the Forestry Commission approached the Landscape department at Leeds Beckett University to seek inspiration to celebrate North Yorkshire’s newly acquired Dark Sky Status.
Undaunted by the Covid-19 restrictions, second year students were tasked with developing concept ideas for a new structure that would benefit the remote forested setting. The Forestry commission were actively involved throughout the design process and attended the final presentations given by the students. They were impressed with the variety of responses the students explored, from tree top walks and architectural nests floating in the coniferous forest, contemporary interpretations of the former fire towers in the forest, to a new island on a lake using the reflective qualities of the water to stimulate a feeling of wonder.
The ideas will be used by the Forestry Commission in a forthcoming public consultation exercise to explore an appropriate way in which to celebrate the dark skies at Dalby Forest.
Trudi is a senior lecturer in Landscape Architecture. Currently she teaches mainly on the undergraduate programme, and is Level 4 coordinator. Her particular teaching interests lie in the exploration of place through art and spatial design, and the crossing of boundaries within landscape architecture through interdisciplinary teaching.