Group 06
HEART AND SOIL

Join our Heart and Soil team as we lead a collaborative project with MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers CIC) exploring ways in which we can make allotments more accessible to a wider array of people, focusing on the elderly and those with disabilities. We will be leading a series of workshops to come up with designs based around practical ways to increase accessibility within various allotment spaces run by MUD. This will lead to final idea presentations and, if successful, idea implementation.

Lucy G / Catherine W / Roseline AG / Oscar Francis H / Katerina P

Meet our Collaborator Jo from MUD!

MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers) is a non-profit social enterprise, established in 2019 as a response to an increasing demand for growing services across Manchester and beyond. They are dedicated to finding solutions to the problems with their local food systems. This includes; advocating for food sovereignty, being a member of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network, providing educational services and growing fruit, vegetables and herbs to make available to the local community. They always use organic growing methods and improve local biodiversity and soil health wherever they grow. MUD is committed to developing projects and creating employment opportunities for our volunteers, as well as providing free services and events for the community. MUD offer a wide range of services and opportunities for the public and private sector, including several exciting projects that are explained in detail on their website.

Website: http://www.wearemud.org
Instagram: @mud_cic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mud.cic/
YouTube: Manchester Urban Diggers CIC
Posted 2 Mar 2021 15:52
Hey, I’m Lucy and I am a member of the Heart and Soil team!

I joined MSA in September after working in practice for 18 months and graduating from The University of Liverpool in 2018. I am currently in the USE atelier, which I am loving so far.

I am looking forward to meeting the new members of our team!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 15:55
Hi, I'm Millie!

I graduated from MSA in 2019 and then spent a year in practice at DAY Architectural. I'm currently in the Continuity in Architecture Atelier which I think really suits my architectural values.

Our Heart and Soil project is set to be a really lovely piece of work and I'm excited to get started with our new team!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 15:56
Hey, I’m Kat and I am one of the members of the Heart and Soil team! I joined MSA in September after graduating from The University of Bath in the summer. I am currently in the PRAXXIS atelier and I am enjoying the very different take on architecture that I am getting here to my previous Uni experience. I look forward to meeting, and getting to know, all the new members of our team as this exciting project develops!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 16:14
Hi, I’m Catherine!

I joined MSA in September after working in small practice in London for 9 months. I graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2019 and I am currently in the Advanced Practice atelier.

I think this project should be really exciting and I am looking forward to seeing this project develop with the new members of our team!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 16:25
Hi, I’m Oscar and I am a member of the Heart and Soil team!
I started at the Manchester school of Architecture this September following 6 months in practice which was unfortunately cut short by covid. For my undergrad I studied at Sheffield Hallam University, which was a really great experience. I am currently in the atelier &rchitecture and finding it really interesting!
Looking forward to meeting you all soon and hopefully doing some really great work together!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 16:46
Hi, I’m Roseline and I am a member of the Heart and Soil team!
I joined MSA in September after working in practice for 18 months and graduating from Queen’s University Belfast in 2018. I am currently in the PRAXXIS atelier which suits my interest in the political landscape.

I’m excited to work with the BLA and MLA1 students and produce engaging designs!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 16:59
Our project focuses on allotment and community garden design. As a team we will be working closely with our collaborator MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers) to explore the current accessibility difficulties faced by those with a disability.

It is common knowledge that accessibility issues can prevent disabled and elderly people from visiting allotment sites. Our aim is to consider how allotments and community gardens can be made more accessible and safer to everyone in society.

We will produce landscaping and practical designs that address and find solutions to these accessibility issues, primarily focussing on the sites maintained by MUD in Greater Manchester. However, our aim is to produce designs that will be universal and can be implemented at allotments throughout the country. This project will initiate a new way of thinking about allotment design. We intend to produce designs that will benefit everyone in the community by breaking the accessibility barrier to promote and create new growing opportunities.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 17:24
We will begin the week by running a quick poll to indicate which skills BA and MLA1 students wish to learn and then offer a quick crash course on the chosen programmes to help develop their skills.

The first week will focus on amalgamating ideas using sketching and collaging by hand or Photoshop, followed by design synthesis possibly using AutoCAD or SketchUp. In the second week, design outputs will be refined and collated into a presentation catalogue.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 18:28
Site Visit

Some members of our group visited Platts field market garden this week and were amazed at the amount of re-use and recycling there was on show! pictured above are some of the innovative ways in which materials and objects had been re-used to serve a different purpose, hopefully offering some inspiration for the next two weeks!
Posted 9 May 2021 19:01
Day 1 – To understand the difficulties of gardening with disabilities we asked our group to take an image of their garden/ park and analyse the constraints they currently possess in relation to accessibility. We then produced images to demonstrate the potential improvements we could make to these spaces.
Posted 11 May 2021 11:30
Day 1 – To understand the difficulties of gardening with disabilities we asked our group to take an image of their garden/ park and analyse the constraints they currently possess in relation to accessibility. We then produced images to demonstrate the potential improvements we could make to these spaces.
Posted 11 May 2021 11:30
Day 1 – To understand the difficulties of gardening with disabilities we asked our group to take an image of their garden/ park and analyse the constraints they currently possess in relation to accessibility. We then produced images to demonstrate the potential improvements we could make to these spaces.
Posted 11 May 2021 11:30
Day 2 – We split our team into two groups. One focused on site analysis of Platt Field market garden, the other focused on general interventions that could be applied to any site. Platt Field market gardens has a variety of ground surfaces that are not easily accessible, and with an organic layout. We have identified specific problem areas and have started sketching masterplan ideas to tackle these issues:

Lack of location markers, organic layout that is not clear to navigate, large expanses of ground growing beds without wheelchair accessible planters, thin paths that would be difficult with a wheelchair or walker.
Posted 11 May 2021 19:40
Day 2 – We split our team into two groups. One focused on site analysis of Platt Field market garden, the other focused on precedent ideas of accessible planters and transferable interventions. These are some examples of the ideas we have brainstormed re-using materials available on site. Developing the ideas identified yesterday, we explored different solutions:

Wheelchair accessible planters, fold-down tables, vertical planting, handrails, movable tool storage, hanging planters, inclusive seating arrangements, roll out wheelchair mats, raised planter layouts.

And how these solutions could be made from recycled materials:

recycled brick, left over pallets, tyres, old filing cabinets, plastic trays, old doors, plastic and glass bottles, barrels, old furniture.
Posted 11 May 2021 19:40
Day 3 – To get a better understanding of existing interventions we researched into more precedents: learning more about existing wheelchair planters and the best dimensions, different heights of planters for different ages and abilities, table-top planters with different planting depths for roots, planter layouts for easy access, and alternative path materials and temporary ramp interventions for adaptable sites. These have helped to develop our ideas for new interventions to be placed in Platt field market gardens and be able to transfer these designs to some of the other sites MUD works in.
Posted 13 May 2021 20:31
Day 4 – Developing our concepts ideas, the accessible planter group created a series of concepts. We have taken inspiration from the precedents and the materials found on site to create ideas centred around making cheap accessible interventions. These are focused around four different styles of planter:

Fold-down options: planting table-tops, work-top, adaptable seats, tool rests, additional pull-out drawers.

Wheelchair accessible: table-top planters, tall planter layouts, curved indentations, seated planter options.

Stackable modular options: planter sculpture, varied levels of plants, different layouts, movable planters for different seasons.

Vertical options: movable hanging planters, trellis variations, handrail planters, movable planting dividers, climbing plant dividers.
Posted 13 May 2021 20:53
How we share ideas!

At the start of last week, we set up a Miro board to allow our team members to share their work and ideas. This Miro board, along with Microsoft Teams is how our team communicates. Throughout each day, we all upload what we have been working on and we constantly refer to previous uploads.

Miro is the perfect software to talk through our ideas whilst we are in a group video call. It enables us to look at everyone’s work at once, whilst being able to draw and add comments on screen.
Posted 18 May 2021 17:52
Signage Development!

Today two of our BA students looked at signage designs and potential locations on site. We believe that signs are a necessary navigation and information technique that will be hugely beneficial for less-able Platt Fields visitors. Our students produced some fantastic inclusive designs that incorporated images, braille, audio recordings, and embossed lettering. The designs were envisioned to be readable to anyone, from young children to visually and hearing impaired individuals. The signs will locate the main interventions and all growing produce on site.
Posted 18 May 2021 18:53
Inclusive Design!

Over the past couple of days, a few of our team members have considered how visitors will navigate through the Platt Fields site. We have focused specifically on how Platt Fields can be updated to facilitate wheelchair access. We have incorporated new routes into the site plan and researched suitable pathway materiality’s. We all agree that it could be beneficial to differentiate areas (market, allotment, workshop, circulation) using a distinct materiality.
Posted 18 May 2021 19:39
Developing Visuals!

Today three of our team members each developed a visual of our proposed interventions. The visuals showcase designs of vertical and stacked planters, rendered to reflect how they would look on site. Our team are so pleased with how these images have turned out and we are excited to see what else will be produced!
Posted 18 May 2021 22:57
Feedback from MUD and Jos Boys!

Last Friday, we met via Zoom with our collaborator MUD and Jos Boys, an architect who specialises in accessibility.

The purpose of this meeting was to present our initial ideas and work in progress drawings for feedback. We explained our initial site plans, layout, materiality, and interventions. This presentation was super helpful, and our guests were really pleased with our progress.

Jos commented:

“Thoughtful and inventive work”

“You’ve done such a lot of work between you…I’d really like to see where you take it”

The main questions our guests asked us to think about were ‘what is gardening?’ ‘what is inclusive gardening?’ and ‘how are you meeting functional needs?’

Following this meeting, we started to ask ourselves questions like ‘will this be suitable throughout all weather conditions and seasons?’, ‘are we excluding anybody?’ and ‘will our designs work on the Platt Fields site?’

We are all looking forward to seeing how this project progresses!
Posted 18 May 2021 23:02
Lumion tutorial with Millie!

This morning our team member Millie shared some useful tips and tricks on how to use the rendering software Lumion. We learnt how to import and export models, commands, and how to change materiality.

Our site model will be rendered using Lumion so we are excited to see how it will turn out!
Posted 19 May 2021 11:18
Developing Visuals!

Throughout the week our team members have been developing visuals to showcase our proposed interventions. The visuals on this post showcase the designs of our wheelchair accessible planters and seated planters.
Posted 19 May 2021 11:59
Concept Drawings!

Sharing some of our teams drawings from over the past few days because they are too nice not too!
Posted 19 May 2021 12:26
Concept Drawings!

Sharing some of our teams drawings from over the past few days because they are too nice not too!
Posted 19 May 2021 12:39
Concept Drawings!

Sharing some of our teams drawings from over the past few days because they are too nice not too!
Posted 19 May 2021 12:54
DESIGN OUTPUT

Final Site Plan!

Today we put the finishing touches on our site plan.

We have reconfigured the existing Platt Fields site plan to be accessible and inclusive to all. We have introduced new pathways, seating arrangements, and interventions, whilst keeping the growing, market, and workshop spaces as existing. We have recommended new pathway materiality’s, widened pathway’s where necessary, and removed any obstructions.

Our aim was to make the allotment as safe as possible for those less-able. We believe that the suggestions made would encourage disabled persons to visit the site regularly and to take up a new hobby!
Posted 20 May 2021 22:57
DESIGN OUTPUT

Visuals for Storyboard!

As a team we decided to present our proposed interventions using a storyboard. This storyboard showcases how a visitor walks through the site and highlights what they should expect to see. The images on this post showcase a visitors journey, from entering the site, to walking through the market, and to walking through the picnic area.

We are all really pleased with the quality of these images, well done team!
Posted 20 May 2021 23:46
DESIGN OUTPUT

Visuals for Storyboard!

As a team we decided to present our proposed interventions using a storyboard. This storyboard showcases how we have proposed to make gardening accessible. The images on this post showcase the growing process of various plants. The images on this post showcase the growing process of various plants, from planting seeds in the greenhouse, through to planting in planters and raised beds.

We are all really pleased with the quality of these images, well done team!
Posted 21 May 2021 00:17
DESIGN OUTPUT

Visuals for Storyboard!

As a team we decided to present our proposed interventions using a storyboard. This storyboard showcases how visitors use the workshop facilities. The images on this post show how we have proposed to improve accessibility, from levelling out pathways, introducing ramps, and adding raised working platforms.

We are all really pleased with the quality of these images, well done team!
Posted 21 May 2021 00:37
DESIGN OUTPUT

Technical Resolution: Accessible Planters!

Using an IKEA style graphic, we have illustrated how our accessible planters would be constructed in four simple steps. We have envisioned a re-use strategy that proposes to use material available at the Platt Fields site, such as wooden pallets, crates, and boards.

These inclusive planters have been designed to allow wheelchair users to engage in gardening, making the task as easy as possible.

We are all really pleased with how these have turned out…great work!
Posted 21 May 2021 11:01
DESIGN OUTPUT

Technical Resolution: Vertical Planters!

Using an IKEA style graphic, we have illustrated how our vertical planters would be constructed in four simple steps. We have envisioned a re-use strategy that proposes to use material available at the Platt Fields site, such as old wooden doors, hinges, and hooks.

The varying heights of shelves, pots, and tools etc are suitable to all visitors, from wheelchair users to visually impaired individuals.

We are all really pleased with how these have turned out…great work!
Posted 21 May 2021 11:06
DESIGN OUTPUT

Technical Resolution: Stacked Planters!

Using an IKEA style graphic, we have illustrated how our stacked planters would be constructed in four simple steps. We have envisioned a re-use strategy that proposes to use material available at the Platt Fields site, such as wooden pallets, crates, and boards.

These planters are an effective planting strategy because they are raised from the ground. All visitors can use these planters, from wheelchair users to elderly and able-bodied individuals.

We are all really pleased with how these have turned out…great work!
Posted 21 May 2021 11:12
Final Presentation!

This morning we prepared our presentation to present our final ideas and designs to MUD.

Once finished, we recorded our presentation to be sent to MUD via email as Jo was unable to join today. With the presentation recording we are also planning to send the PDF, our previous presentations, and a design booklet, which showcases all our concept designs.

We are so pleased with the outcome of this project and we are looking forward for feedback from our collaborator!
Posted 21 May 2021 13:49
What skills we’ve learnt!

Over these past two weeks we have acquired a range of new skills, from software to hand drawing.

We have learnt how to work as a team and communicate effectively. All members joined the group meetings on time and made lots of useful contributions.

These skills will really benefit our team members in the professional world!
Posted 21 May 2021 15:18
Thank you!

Today was the final day of MSA Live!

Oscar, Millie, Catherine, Roseline, Kat, and Lucy would like to say a massive thank you to our BA students for all their hard work over these past two weeks. We have been so lucky to work with such motivated and talented individuals, who produced fantastic high-quality work every day…we have every faith that you will all succeed in your architectural studies!

Good luck everyone, hope you all have a lovely summer, and hopefully see you in September!

We would also like to thank our collaborators MUD for envisioning an enjoyable and interesting workshop. Hopefully, our designs will be implemented on site one day.
Posted 21 May 2021 17:56