Group 22

Parktopia seeks to conduct a fundamental re-examination of parks for LEAF. We will try to get new fresh ideas of what parks mean to societies through studying how parks are presented in literature, pop culture and social media in different countries and interview people from different cultural backgrounds to get a more personal point of view on what parks mean for different individuals. After these studies we will find abstract and artistic ways to present our observations.

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Thomas C / Nayeem Zuhair Hussain S / Laura B / Sofia Aida Maaria P / Nadia AS

LEAF (Landscape Environment Advancement Foundation) is an organization intended to undertake and further research in areas of Plant Material, Landscape Design, and Environmental Sustainability.


The work that LEAF undertakes is designed to inform the design profession, and its fields of interest in a real, impactful manner.
This is done not only through the final outcomes, but also through the process, methods of data collection, documentation, and data representation.

The foundation has expanded the areas within which it undertakes work - looking at ideas of urban development and management, the design and refurbishment of public spaces, undertaking studies in governance and administration at the level of the country, and even creating models to integrate art into the fabric of the city.

Outside of the independent research projects, and impact projects that LEAF undertakes, it also functions as a facilitator for collaborative projects, adapting itself continuously to the many roles it chooses to perform.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:17
By redefining the idea of a park, new understandings and methods are considered which can promote a different approach of firstly viewing a park and then how does it enhance the user experience and relationship on an individual level.

Is it possible to invoke memories of the past through the park? The existence of culture, can this be emoted through a park? Are parks limited to just a few benches and open green spaces?

How do parks preserve and invoke the identity of a place and portray this to perhaps teach, experience, and feel in an age where parks are generalised.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:19
Within our project we will be studying how parks are represented through different media by studying them through pop culture, social media, films and poetry. After these studies we will create abstract diagrams and use artistic methods to present our observations.

Our team will be able to pick up skills such as:

Abstract visualisation
Alternative research approaches
Different visualisation techniques
Networking with partner company, LEAF, and other BA, MArch and MLA students

Alongside these methods, we will be presenting our ideas using abstract techniques which can be done by sketching, painting or drawing. We will also be using softwares such as:

Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:20
Meet our Team- Laura Bucknall

Education & Experience:
BA- Oxford Brookes University
Work Experience- PRP Architects, Summers 2015-2017
Part 1 Placement- BPTW, Greenwich 2018-2019
March- MSA

Skills & Interests:
Watercolour Painting and Oil Painting, Rhino and visualisation, Photoshop, Indesign.
I am interested in deigning at a human scale, creating moments in a buildings journey that are immersed in and inspired by nature. All my university projects seem to have had concepts that surround water and nature. I'm excited to see where this event takes these concepts and ideas.

Snowboarding, travelling, painting, going to festivals and testing all the pub gardens in my area.

Ideas about parks:
Parks have become far more valuable than ever before. I think the idea of a park is to allow anyone from any culture, age, disability and location to experience the euphoria that is a clean, beautiful, safe outdoor environment.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:21
Meet our team- Tom Cooper

Education & experience:
Part 1 Placement - SimpsonHaugh, Manchester
MArch - MSA

Skills & interests:
Sketching, Photoshop, InDesign, Revit, Rhino, Grasshopper, AutoCad, Lumion
Interested in incorporating nature into architecture and computational thinking

Rock climbing, Skiing, mountain biking, travelling

Ideas about parks:
A park is provides a place and its people with nature and a space to relax in a variety of ways
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:21
Meet our team - Nayeem Shaik

Education and experience:
BArch – Nottingham Trent

Skills and interests:
Photoshop, Rhino, Lumion, illustrator
Interested in 16th-century Italian architecture and the influence of space-making

Hobbies: Reading, Debating, Travelling, Cricket

Ideas about parks: A place for solitude and reflection which helps us to disconnect from the rush of our daily lives.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:22
Meet our team- Nadia Alshawi

Education & experience:
Part 1 Placement - Allison Pike, Manchester
MArch - MSA

Skills & interests:
Photoshop, InDesign, Revit, Rhino
Interested in digital cities and landscaping

Hiking, traveling & reading

Ideas about parks:
A park is a place where you can go to be surrounded by nature and wildlife
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:22
Meet our team - Sofia Pamilo

Education & experience:

Skills and interest:
Painting, Hand Drawing, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Sketchup


Ideas about parks:
I’m originally from Finland and I think my nationality has a strong influence on how I see parks. They are areas that shouldn’t be too controlled by humans, rather they should be spaces where people and wildlife could coexist as equals, in balance.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 13:23
We are delighted to announce that MSA humanities leader Ray Lucas is giving us a talk on Filmic Architecture in the first week of MSA Live!
Ray has researched architectural anthropology and uses drawings, sketches, diagrams and maps as a research tool to reveal different layers in social and architectural context. Ray also does research into the relationship between film and architecture. He is interested in; how the concept of montage can be developed, how production design aligns with architectural theories, and how we understand built environments through cinema.
Ray is going to give us an hour long talk about how we can understand parks through cinema. He will give us an introduction into different methods that can be used to analyse spaces viewed in film. After the talk we are each going to watch a film from our own cultural background and analyse it with the methods Ray has presented to us.
Who is excited? We are! Soon enough it'll be time to grab the popcorn!
Posted 23 Apr 2021 17:39
As we fast approach events week, we are very excited to introduce Artist Pandora Layton, who has kindly agreed to come and give us a talk about abstract art and her works to date. Pandora qualified from Cambridge in 2016 with BA (Hons) in History, whilst there she founded the college’s Fine Art Society and became its first President! Pandora also acted as an illustrator for the university student magazine and was commissioned to paint two large works there. After working as an illustrator in London, Pandora perused a Master of Arts degree in painting from University of Arts London, before completing a Master of Research degree in Fine Art and the Royal College of Art. She is now based in London and Norfolk and is having success after success, having recently been featured in this months copy of KL Magazine, Norfolk. We are so excited to hear what she has to say, and hope you are too!

For more of Pandora's work please see her website and Instagram below:
Posted 9 May 2021 15:09
During our work we asked for pictures of each team members views from their windows. This has worked beautifully as we have diverse group in a variety of places around the world that helps us show a rich exploration into what parks are.
Posted 12 May 2021 10:09
Day 2 has been very creative with our trips to nearby parks. These are our responses to how we felt and the way we have perceived the park through abstraction using elements from the parks
Posted 12 May 2021 12:40
Similar to our varied window views, our individual park visits were varied from multiple parks in Manchester to Abu Dhabi, India, and Romania. These helped us collect and record how parks are used around the world to compare the similarities and differences. Even those who visited the same park had different experiences explored through our abstractions.
Posted 12 May 2021 17:27
A very creative first day with our Parktopia team!

We explored how nature is portrayed through music and had each of our team members pick a song, that reminds them of nature, and attempt to visualise it abstractly through any medium. Here are just a few examples!

"I generally associate nature with walking, with it serving as a backdrop for reflection or introspection" - Eva

"Being in nature can be a relaxing experience, but also makes me think of the sublime and grandness of the natural world, a reminder of our scale in the world" - Joel

"A lively atmosphere which makes peaceful sounds. It belongs to everyone and no one" - Namon
Posted 13 May 2021 11:55
Day 4 we explored how parks are represented in social media such as Instagram to see the different ways and similarities between countries. Social media is a huge influence on people's life's today and seeing how parks are used through them tells an aspect of how they are seen today. We have identified popular themes such as the park used as a backdrop to 'selfies' or how famous locations of a park have been replicated as the perfect photograph so many times.
Posted 17 May 2021 11:02
Day 5 we used a talk from teacher Ray Lucas on analysing film and how architecture and themes shown in it to aid our film absractions. We researched films that have parks and showed their meaning through art to explore how film represents them through different cultures. Such as The Trial of The Chicago 7 using the park first as a peaceful safe place to protest that turned into a violent riot.
Posted 17 May 2021 16:53
Day 5 also saw the whole team meeting with our collaborator LEAF. We were introduced to some examples of research they have conducted, as well as their previous collaborations and hopes for this one.

We then presented the abstractions we have conducted so far and a template of our final document.

We received some good constructive feedback that has been implemented going forwards. This interaction with our collaborator after a week of work has allowed them to respond to our work in progress, hopefully creating a more positive and successful collaboration.
Posted 18 May 2021 12:01
Olga Partyka
Year: BA2

'For me parks are a space to relax and reset from everyday problems, as well as the provider of clean air.'

Olga has produced some fantastic work with a unique perspective and art style that has captured the park representations and how she understands it.

'I enjoyed analyzing my views on parks and translating them into physical things. I also liked the guest speakers a lot.'
Posted 20 May 2021 10:26
Manika Bhalotiya

A park to me is a composition of dramatic colored sky, semi-matured trees and an endless patch of grasses captured in one frame.

Manika has brought a great set of skills and knowledge into this project understanding parks and showed interest with our collaborators as they share a passion for landscape design. She has also provided great analysis of the data we found giving us usable ideas.

Working with the Team Parktopia has been really inspiring. It’s been a new and fun experience to learn about the art of abstracting any thought, literature or even a song.
Posted 20 May 2021 10:41
Eva Crutan

My idea of a park is defined as a backdrop for activities, both social and introspective. To me, its most important function should be shelter.

Eva has been a great member of the team inputting her ideas and opinions on a project where collaboration is so important. Her abstractions have been very successful using a strong skill set.

During the project I enjoyed analysing various forms of media, and translating them through abstractization.
Posted 20 May 2021 11:12
Jason Chen

For me, park is a connection between human and nature, which is like a transitional zone between man-made objects and nature, where human and nature achieve harmonious coexistence. What's more, park provides me a space for escaping from heavy work, shutting off my brain and having a breath.

Jason has brought a very important approach to our exploration of re-defining the park going one step further analysing our interview questions and producing thought provoking abstractions.

In this Events, what impress me most is the lecture about abstraction and nature from Pandora, which conveys me new thoughts about abstraction. Moreover, among those activities, I like the park visiting most, and my skills of Photoshop has been improved a lot. What's more, I really like our atmosphere of working in everyday's group meeting, which is positive and reassuring.
Posted 20 May 2021 12:37
Anjana Suresh

To me a park is personal. It’s a space where I can reflect on my emotions. The calm and serene environment in a park really helps relax and kind of gives me the feeling of being home, where I’m the happiest

As a masters in landscaping student Anjana has been fantastic in helping understand how parks are used and then exploring their use in different medias and areas around the world. Her abstractions have only got better as she learnt from our external speakers.

This overall experience working with group Parktopia has truly been amazing and very much informative. As a landscape architect student, the topics discussed have been so helpful in my study and I think its also interesting to see different perspectives from each as to what an idea of a park is to them.
Posted 20 May 2021 12:43
Joel Richardson

For me, a park is mainly a space to hang out with friends, or go for a walk through if I need to relax. The experience of being in a park is one of feeling reconnected to nature. Even small parks, with only a few trees help give you a break and remind you of nature and something bigger than yourself.

Joel has been fantastic to work with throughout the project consistently providing useful information and ideas. This leads to him creating high quality work that hits the brief exactly.

I have enjoyed spending dedicated time each day on creating an abstract response to a range of source materials. The feeling of continued exploration of one idea but through different forms has led me to consider parks much more carefully, and I think I’m more aware and critical of park design. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to practice with software that’s new to me, like Illustrator.
Posted 20 May 2021 13:08
Namon Thongsuwan

For me, a park is a human-centred outdoor space where you can perceive sense of belonging and hear restful sounds. It gives your brain and body a break from the chaotic and loud world.

Namon impressed us with some detailed abstractions such as after visiting a park and overlaying leafs to showcase the variety of colours and flora there compared to other parks. She has successfully shown her reactions to parks and expressed the other medias.

I have learnt a lot of useful software skills and analytical skills from CiA, CPU and USE students. Also, I find the tasks very compelling as abstraction is very individual and could inevitably present personal views on what parks mean to us.
Posted 20 May 2021 14:25
Molly Kenwright

A park to me is an organic place of escapism. It is a place to reflect and physically detach from stressful situations; I use a park to socialise with my friends and enjoy the scenic nature.

Molly has been producing high quality work these two weeks learning from our skill workshops and producing creative artwork capturing the parks representation through many mediums.

I've enjoyed the combination of collaborative and independent tasks within this project; I have learnt a lot of new skills through meeting new people. Also, I felt that the external speakers were engaging and really complimentary to the project.
Posted 20 May 2021 16:26
Day 7 we approached our park research in a new way to interview as many people around the world as possible with our online survey.

This gave us incredible rich data allowing analysis into why people respond to parks the way they do with emotions and descriptions. As well as the difference in how people want to use parks and how they do not currently provide for these functions, and more.

These abstractions along with the survey information in graphs and statements show an informed research and analysis to answer our question of how parks typologies are unified globally.
Posted 21 May 2021 10:24
At the end of week one we used what we have learnt to inform the survey interview questions for the best understanding of how parks are used around the world.

Using ranking questions allows us to compare the answers more easily. Open questions give us personal responses to analyse. This information gives us first hand data to inform our understanding of parks and further our research and eventually conclusion.
Posted 21 May 2021 10:51
The survey interviews gave fantastic data on how parks are used and thought about from a large variety of people. First we made this data easily readable to then analyse it and represent it to explain found themes. Such as how those interviewed in India stated a want for shaded trees and water features compared to no such mentions in the UK.

This data in graphs is useful to visualise, whilst we take it a step further to abstract it and show the analysis graphically.
Posted 21 May 2021 11:24
Day 7 we took the same parks we visited for our site visits last week as case studies. We used the knowledge we have gained to analyse them against the interviews and theories.

Comparing these two different parks in the same city and then to a different country and climate importantly shows design decisions and the way people use them.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:32
Our work has been made into a research booklet explaining our process and findings on the park typology in a clear narrative. This is for our collaborators Leaf to use for their foundation.
Posted 21 May 2021 14:01