Group 03

Our agenda is to celebrate circus and have fun! We will be designing the FIRST circus festival of the North West, taking place in November to celebrate The Circus House’s 10th Birthday. The festival will take place across three sites including The Circus House, NIAMOS and The Klondyke, and aims to educate people about the fun circus offers and promote talent, involving everyone from beginners to professionals. This will include Covid-19 safe shows, workshops and lots of community engagement.

Download Final Report

Madeleine A / Anya L / Kyra Anne J / Anya Beth D / Jaskarran S

Meet The Circus House!

The Circus House are an inspiring organisation dedicated to bringing smiles to the communities of Manchester. The organisation is made up of 15 different teachers and technical staff members each with their own amazing talents and skills.

The Circus House host classes and workshops for all ages and skill sets, making for an inclusive and fun environment. Workshops include aerial silks, juggling, unicycling, acrobatics and much more!
We are working with one of the directors of the company, Sian. She deals with the performance bookings and the aerial programme for the organisation. Sian is a great character to be working with.

Instagram: thecircushouse
Twitter: @TheCircusHouse
Facebook: @THCmanchester
Posted 28 Feb 2021 19:37
The project will aim to focus on spatial design of circus workshops. We aim to get involved with a variety of skills and activities to allow students the choice to pursue their interests. All abilities are welcome and we hope to collaborate together and learn new things!

All aspects such as modelling, sketching and collaging can be done either digitally or physically depending on your preference and access to software/equipment.

Spatial Design: A key output of the project is to design a series of covid safe workshops across three sites in Manchester.

Illustrations : Graphics and collages will be used to present and discuss ideas. We will look to explore and develop a variety of design skills during this process.

Physical Model making: Model boxes will form the basis to finalise our designs for the client. Each group will have the freedom to use whatever materials they have at hand or any that they would like to practice.

CAD Modelling : As well as physical modelling, CAD modelling will be used to develop model boxes. Through this we will look to develop software skills for students through a variety of software.

Circus Workshops : We will be working closely with The Circus House in Manchester who are giving us the opportunity to get involved with their circus workshops inc. juggling, trapeze, unicycle etc.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 16:41
Atelier: Urban Spatial Experimentation
Skills: Vectorworks, Sketchup, Photoshop and physical modelling.

Bio: Positive and welcoming energy in the group, who is always keen to help others with digital and physical modelling!
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:22
Atelier: PRAXXIS
Skills: Visuals, illustrations, environmental strategies, residential design

Bio: I carried out my undergrad at Newcastle University and my part 1 at Chapman Taylor. I thrive when working with others so am excited to grow our Cirque du Arc team! I’m here to help grow your skills in architecture and will make sure you’re happy and comfortable with what you’re doing.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:24
Atelier: Urban Spatial Experimentation
Skills: Photoshop, painting and sketching

Bio: Enthusiastic and warm team member who has always loved working with undergrads and helping them with photoshopping collages (maybe in mandarin if you’d like!)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:24
Atelier: Infra Space
Skills: Revit and physical models

Bio: Friendly and creative person who has a good eye for graphic design. Apart from having a Revit certificate, I also love making physical models. Feel free to pop up for a chat if you need any help!
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:30

Atelier: Advanced practice
Skills: Leadership, environmental design, creativity and Revit

Bio: I undertook my part 1 at Sheffield Hallam and my placement year at PZvi - Archiects. As chairman of Cirque Du Arch my role is constructing the best possible circus festival and experience through architecture. Warm and very approachable - I’m here to guide you as well as to honing your skills through a fun, interesting and unique project.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:31

Atelier: Urban Spatial Experimentation
Skills: Visuals, concept diagrams, communication skills

Bio: I did my undergraduate at MSA so I know what it’s like being a first or second year student doing MSA Live. I am a friendly and approachable person and am happy to help anyone and answer questions. I just want everyone to feel comfortable and involved!
Posted 1 Mar 2021 19:31
Our MSA live event offers the opportunity for a wide range of people to learn about circus in a fun and engaging way. The festival aims to bring people together in a Coivd-19 safe manner, in order to provide joy in a time where it is needed more than ever. It will promote talent and the fitness and wellbeing benefits that circus has to offer.

The Circus House as a company have a large community interest and most of their teaching is under the umbrella of social circus. In 2019 they worked with 5465 participants nationally, 4485 of these within GMCA area.

All while aiming to be as green as possible!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 23:24

MSA Live begins tomorrow! Cirque Du Arc have been working hard to prepare for the next two weeks. Creating exciting presentations and tutorials for the students.

We can't wait to meet the rest of the team and start the fun work. We have a lot of hands on, creative activities in store - posts on these will be shown in due course.
Posted 9 May 2021 11:31
Week 1: Outlined Schedule

Introduction Presentation (Monday) - Icebreakers + Brief Introduction

Photoshop Workshop (Tuesday) - Digital Skills + Abstract Movements Research

Ergonomic Design Task (Wednesday) - Ergonomic Research + Design Task

Ergonomic Design Task (Thursday) - Ergonomic Research + Design Task

Indesign Workshop (Friday) - Digital Skills + Compilation of Work

Posted 9 May 2021 11:53
Please welcome our BA students to the team! The first meeting at Cirque du Arc was an exciting one! As community is a large part of our ethos and design focus, we spent the morning getting to know each other and introducing our partner, The Circus House. We did this through sharing some interesting facts and learning about all the great skills each person can bring to the table and develop over the next two weeks. Whilst getting to know the partner we learnt about ten different circus acts, particularly focusing on the movements involved with each.
Posted 13 May 2021 07:03
Time for the fun stuff! A quick icebreaker! Using the images from this morning’s presentation, everyone picked the circus act which inspired them the most and chose a medium to represent it. It was great to see the range of media used; pens, pencils, paint and digital drawing. By coming together at the end of the session and sharing our work, we learned how the same act could be interpreted in a variety of ways. This really helped us to understand each movement in more detail and gave us a platform from which we can develop and progress.
Posted 13 May 2021 07:35
We introduced the outputs after forming concept ideas of the movements and how they can be represented, so that they don’t seem quite so daunting.
The outputs are:
One ‘Acrobanner’ consisting of 10 images of 10 circus movements to celebrate 10 years of The Circus House. These will look good in their own right and as a banner which can be hung at The Circus Festival.
One Ergonomic Booklet with detailed studies of movements and health benefits of 5 circus acts. These can be used as a guide for planning social distancing into workshops during the festival.
Posted 13 May 2021 07:50
The next step was to develop the concept ideas further. We have split into 5 smaller groups, established based on the movements people were initially interested in. Each group was given videos to watch where they could study one performance each each and one workshop act, this is to highlight that circus acts can be accessible to everyone. By watching videos we started to see the transitions between movements that were not apparent from pictures alone. This will help to understand the spaces needed for the acts and workshops to take place, which was something we discussed with our collaborator.
Posted 13 May 2021 12:14
As well as wanting to encourage everyone to use existing skills we also thought it would be a good idea to do a photoshop workshop for students to learn something new. In the workshop we taught skills which could be relevant in the next task; the Abstract Movements Workshop. Specifically relevant were the motion blur tool which gives a sense of movement and the use of the graffiti brush to further this and also add texture and depth to an image.
Posted 13 May 2021 14:48
Now to get those pens and paper out… or paints… or clay… or even just stay on the computer! The aim of the Abstract Movements Workshop was to focus on one specific movement involved in each of the circus acts; considering the flow of body transitions, interaction with equipment and movement through the space. Notwithstanding, showing creativity in the presentation and making it look fun! It was great to see the range of media increase again from the Icebreaker from 3D models to the use of the motion blur tool in photoshop that was taught in the workshop.
Posted 14 May 2021 11:25
Today we started by having a presentation on ergonomics. We looked at how ergonomic studies can be a great way to establish how much space each act takes up in performances and how much space an individual needs in each workshop to ensure safe social distancing. Ergonomic studies are the next stage in the design process, taking the concept studies from the Abstract Movements Workshop and analysing them in a technical manner. The presentation also gave examples of how these can be presented in an informative and aesthetic way, making a technical drawing look artistic.
Posted 14 May 2021 12:56
After the presentation, everyone set off to do individual research about ergonomics and how they can be presented. This allowed everyone to gain an understanding of the topic and form their own ideas. This research was then applied to one of the circus movements each group studied in the Abstract Movement Workshop and we considered the best ways to present these studies as technical ergonomic drawings. While thinking about how the body moves in more detail, we researched the health and fitness benefits involved with each movement. This is a huge part of what our partner wants to promote.
Posted 18 May 2021 10:33
As our project is all about movement, isn’t it fitting that we get up and moving ourselves?
As restrictions mean that a large part of this year’s MSA Live is taking place on zoom, resulting in a lot of time being sat at a computer, we thought it would be important to include activities which meant moving about. In order to draw the ergonomic studies we asked each group to measure themselves doing some of these movements. This enabled everyone to collect data and also visualise exactly how each body part moves and transitions, really thinking about the different joints, angles and lengths.
Posted 18 May 2021 10:35
At the end of day 4 we can see the ergonomic studies coming together. Forms have been drawn in different ways using photoshop and hand drawing. Progress has been made by adding measurements to the drawings. It is interesting to see that different groups have taken the initiative to look into different scales of movements such as specific hand movements and their interactions with apparatus. We can already see how points that were mentioned in the brief have been highlighted, such as full movement transitions, the angles they move through and the different joints being marked as pivot points.
Posted 18 May 2021 11:34
At the end of each day we have been meeting as a whole group, presenting where we’re up to with the project and discussing it as a group. This is a useful activity as it can give each other inspiration and also act as a critique. Being critiqued and critiquing are equally important skills. We hope that these sessions will maximise the quality of our work at Cirque Du Arc as well as help to develop our skills to critique both our own and our peers' work.
Posted 18 May 2021 11:35
As we near the end of week one, it’s necessary to think about compiling our work so far. Next week’s tasks include making the publication using the InDesign template and creating a timeline. This is why now’s the time for an InDesign workshop.
The workshop covered basic InDesign skills which will be transferable to creating studio portfolios. An overview of how to use master pages was given as this will be necessary when creating the publication.
The workshop was educational for both BA and MA students. We were all able to share tips and shortcuts that others hadn’t used before.
Posted 18 May 2021 11:36
What a great end to the week! Everyone has worked really hard this week and it shows in these final ergonomic studies. These images will be in our publication to look at in more detail along with some further information about the circus acts that they depict. As an overview of the images, however, we can appreciate some of the graphic techniques. For example, using different colours to differentiate between types of measurements in order to make the drawings clear and apparent that they are technical studies. Also the introduction of a spectator or coach to mark social distancing.
Posted 18 May 2021 11:52
Week 2: Outlined Schedule

Ergonomic Studies in Plan and Timeline (Monday) - Brief + Design Tasks

Step by Step Design Task and Timeline (Tuesday) - Design Tasks

Festival Spatial Arrangement Design (Wednesday) - Group Design Task

Festival Spatial Arrangement Design + Reflection (Thursday) - Group Design Task

Final Presentation + Reflection (Friday) - Outputs Uploaded + Feedback Given + Presentation to The Circus House + Create Reflective Blog Post
Posted 18 May 2021 12:31
Continuing from the Ergonomic Studies that we did last week, a short presentation was given to show examples of ergonomic drawings in plan and perspective views from above. The presentation also considered the interactions between the trainee and the trainer. Photos from The Circus House’s website were chosen as precedents to support this.

The next task is to look into the spatial arrangements for each activity and draw them out.
Posted 18 May 2021 15:44
Looking back at our Ergonomic Circus Studies post from Friday (Day 5), you can see how the same movements have been considered in plan view.
There have been a range of different focal points:

- Different ways to practice a handstand (eg. against a wall or using a mirror) and how this could work in a room, in a covid safe manner.
- The forward and backward movement of a juggler which would only be visible in plan, as well as the outward arm spans.
- The added area having a spotter would take up.
Posted 18 May 2021 15:45
As The Circus House is celebrating their 10th birthday, we are creating a graphic timeline of their life. We started by looking into the history of The Circus House and the other two event spaces, the NIAMOS and the Klondyke and the key events that have taken place over the last 10 years. We also began to look at timeline precedents and what would suit ours. This led to a design charrette in which everyone drew up a quick proposed layout. We then came together to decide which elements form each one we could take into the final layout.
Posted 18 May 2021 15:46
From the design charrette, as a group we picked things from each design which worked well to use in the general concept for the final timeline, whilst carrying through our accent colour of purple. We then sent the photoshop file to each person working on the timeline so they could put their stamp on it.
The timeline has 10 images on it to compound the theme of 10 running through our project, with the 10 circus movements which is to represent the 10 years of The Circus House.
Posted 19 May 2021 13:09
The next task is called Step by Step and the aim is to draw a sequence of movements. The brief is to draw 3-5 steps involved in a movement as outlined drawings. The aim is to provide clarity to beginners taking part in the workshops and to help them learn how to perform the acts. They are essentially a guide, like you see on gym guides, for example. These drawings can be zoomed in (hand grips, foot locks) or wider scale drawings (whole body movement). They are to compliment the collages we have already done for the 10 images.
Posted 21 May 2021 09:01
It’s all about the context in the Spatial Design Task. The brief is to create a COVID friendly plan of the 5 workshops, mapped in the Niamos Radical Arts & Culture Center - a site for the festival. Measurements from previous ergonomic tasks should be used to inform design decisions. Supportive perspective visuals from different views around the space which show the different workshops in action will also be useful to give a feel for space.

This task is for everyone to work together and use the knowledge and information that each group has studied in more detail throughout the project.
Posted 21 May 2021 09:44
In this task we researched the Niamos Centre, particularly looking at how the flexible space has been used for a range of different events. Understanding the space allowed us to create an initial programme for the festival which would suit the facilities and equipment available at the Niamos. The initial concept design integrated the themes that came from the research. The design consisted of five workshops spaced out to meet COVID regulations. Additional spaces such as changing rooms, sanitation zones and storage were also considered through altering the flexible spaces within the building.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:13
The design combined both performance activities with engaging workshops to create a fun, safe and circus themed festival. This perspective sketch was created as an overview of the site in order to help to identify opportunities for other, more zoomed in visuals.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:14
The final floor plan for the Spatial Design task shows the relationship between the workshops and how people can move between them in a covid safe manner. It includes a temporary partition which will act as a gallery wall, with information and artwork about the circus, including Cirque Du Arc’s 10 images in the form of the Acrobanner. Using the photoshop skills which were taught in the workshop, textures and shadows have been added to the plan to give it a sense of atmosphere. The purple boxes denote the area needed for each act which had previously been established.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:14
Having considered the circus movements in plan and elevation it was now time to consider them in perspective. From these visuals, you can see clearly that they are all drawn from the same plan and they give off a great sense of atmosphere. They depict the site populated with spectators, participants, coaches and proposed temporary structures needed for the aerial workshops. Ornate features of the Niamos Center also bring the proposed festival visuals to life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:15
Having considered the circus movements in plan and elevation it was now time to consider them in perspective. From these visuals, you can see clearly that they are all drawn from the same plan and they give off a great sense of atmosphere. They depict the site populated with spectators, participants, coaches and proposed temporary structures needed for the aerial workshops. Ornate features of the Niamos Center also bring the proposed festival visuals to life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:15
Having considered the circus movements in plan and elevation it was now time to consider them in perspective. From these visuals, you can see clearly that they are all drawn from the same plan and they give off a great sense of atmosphere. They depict the site populated with spectators, participants, coaches and proposed temporary structures needed for the aerial workshops. Ornate features of the Niamos Center also bring the proposed festival visuals to life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:16
Having considered the circus movements in plan and elevation it was now time to consider them in perspective. From these visuals, you can see clearly that they are all drawn from the same plan and they give off a great sense of atmosphere. They depict the site populated with spectators, participants, coaches and proposed temporary structures needed for the aerial workshops. Ornate features of the Niamos Center also bring the proposed festival visuals to life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:16
Having considered the circus movements in plan and elevation it was now time to consider them in perspective. From these visuals, you can see clearly that they are all drawn from the same plan and they give off a great sense of atmosphere. They depict the site populated with spectators, participants, coaches and proposed temporary structures needed for the aerial workshops. Ornate features of the Niamos Center also bring the proposed festival visuals to life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:16
The Acrobanner final product! The aim of the Acrobanner is to celebrate the Circus House’s 10th Birthday. It is a series of 10 different circus act collages which depict how the body moves, created with a range of media and incorporating lots of colour! Each of the 10 images which make up the Acrobanner, can be used as stand alone images. The idea behind this is that The Circus House will be able to use either the whole banner or just sections of it for promoting the festival and as decoration during.

Please scan below for a clearer image.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:21
Ursula Gonzalez (BA 02)

The image is focused on aerial hoops and through a sequence of overlapped drawings, the continuous movement and the agility needed to carry out a performance is expressed. Furthermore, the playful geometry in the background has been used to show the exciting nature of the circus.
This two-week project has given me the possibility to develop my skills to work as part of a team further as doing a group project online demands further communication and organizational skills than the usual face to face group project would.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:27
Yasmin Dimbleby (BA 02)

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year's events. The masters students have been amazing in teaching us new skills on photoshop and indesign which will come in handy for this degree. They are all great team leaders and I can see them thriving as future architects. The Circus House has been an interesting project that has helped us grow a further understanding of ergonomics and spatial awareness. Working as a group of different ages has been helpful as we have all taught each other new skills, I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:28
Ethan Chambers (BA 02)

I have really enjoyed the opportunity that we had, exploring the human body, within a circus environment. From this project I was able to conclude that the body & mind are closely related, and that they can both benefit from each other to improve people's overall mental health, whether it’s through physical activities or social interaction. Mental health is an important topic today, as the modern world faces many challenges, such as restrictions of Covid-19 or increased stresses of everyday life.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:30
Anastasia Christopoulou (BA 02)

This year’s event, The Circus House project, was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. One of my favourite parts from the past couple of weeks was the investigation of the movements in the different circus acts. Not only have I gained a better understanding in their ergonomics but also learned new skills in Photoshop and Indesign. From a student knowing only the basics in Photoshop, after tutorials from the master students I gained knowledge and skills that I will definitely use in my upcoming projects.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:31
Tioluwalase Delight Olojede (BA 01)

Through MSA Live I’ve learnt so much, such as illustrating movement, producing detailed ergonomic studies and photoshop collaging. In my collage, I try to demonstrate these skills: noting the strength and skill of those who do the acts. I learnt that so much excitement can be found in circus and its mental and physical benefits. Working in this team was great, I felt like everyone was looking out for each other making sure we were all on track, reflecting the community of the circus house.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:32
Gabriela Esguevillas (BA 01)

I think MSA live has been a great opportunity to meet people in other years and to work on something you wouldn’t usually do. I have had a great time working on the Circus House project as a group. I found it fascinating breaking down different circus acts and learning about their numerous health benefits. This project has really helped me develop my drawing, photoshop and presenting skills.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:34
Louise Cheung (BA 01)

I used drawing as a process of self reflection. I studied the hands of circus moves featured in the project and went through the thinking process my colleagues have gone through when they did their research. That fosters a greater sense of understanding towards each of their work and their unique approach to the subject. A greater connection between students in different stages of study — that is what MSA Live has brought to me.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:39
SIlvia Nedyalkova (BA 01)

When I picture a circus in my head, I immediately transport into a wonder world where everything is possible. And these past 2 weeks I was able to dive even deeper into the “maddens” of the circus. What is more, I picked up on Photoshop and Indesign skills which helped me with the creation of some of the pieces we had to do.
Posted 21 May 2021 15:42
We presented to Owen, a director at The Circus House. He complimented the use of the timeline and the Acrobanner and was particularly impressed with the way the diagrams were depicted, showing the directions of the active forces in the handstands. Owen expanded on certain topics that we covered, in order for us to learn and consider in the future. We discussed the feasibility of the Festival happening for The Circus House’s 10th Birthday but unfortunately due to COVID there is still uncertainty. Overall, this was an enjoyable project and we’ve enjoyed working with both BA’s and The Circus House.
Posted 21 May 2021 16:02
If you would like a closer look at our Acrobanner please scan here!
Posted 21 May 2021 16:09