Hi all! I’m Andrea, a Master of Architecture student currently studying at the Manchester School of Architecture in the Atelier Continuity in Architecture.
By day, I am an architecture student and by night I take on small illustration projects for an independent architecture magazine based in Malaysia. Art has always played a significant role in my life, and working on small illustration projects on the side keeps me sane after a full day of staring at architectural drawings.
I’m always down to explore new and weird ideas and I hope collaborating with my teammates and the artists, we are able to come out with unique takes on adapting St Mary’s Market into an artist studio.
Posted 12 Mar 2023 18:40
1st Action Week
The first week of our action plan aims to familiarize ourselves with St. Helens' artistic community. We will be focusing on understanding the needs and wants of local artists in St. Helens. This will involve conducting a site visit to gain insight into the current state of the artist spaces and the community's expectations for their redevelopment. Through this process, we hope to develop a deep understanding of the community's needs and incorporate these findings into our future design proposals. Ultimately, our goal is to create a space that fosters creativity and innovation while also meeting the practical needs of the artists who will be using it.
Posted 9 May 2023 23:46
Day 1: Site Visit
The BA1 & BA2 students had the opportunity to meet with the collaborators and visit the artist studios to explore the potential opportunities for the project. The aim of this session was to get the students acquainted with the project, the collaborators, and the artists' needs and wants.
During the visit to the artist studios, the students were able to observe and analyze the existing structures and surroundings. They were able to identify potential areas for improvement and gather information that would be useful in the later stages of the project. The students also had the opportunity to interact with the artists and learn about their vision for the space, which helped to inform the brainstorming session that followed.
The visit to the artist studios was an important part of the first day's action plan as it allowed the students to gain a better understanding of the site and its potential.
Posted 9 May 2023 23:52
During the site visit, the BA1 & BA2 students were provided with a briefing at St Mary's Market to give them an overview of the project's objectives and goals. The briefing allowed the students to understand the scope of the project and its impact on the community of St Helens.
After the briefing, the students visited the artist studios to explore the opportunities that exist within the current site. This provided the students with an insight into the challenges and potential solutions that could be implemented in the project design. They were able to gain a better understanding of the space and the artists' requirements.
Following the visit to the artist studios, the group took a tour around the town of St Helens to gain a deeper understanding of the local area and the target audience. The students were able to observe the behaviour of people in the town and analyze the factors that contribute to their needs and wants. This helped the students to generate ideas and develop strategies that would cater to the needs of the community. Overall, the site visit was crucial in providing the students with practical experience and insights that would guide them in their subsequent activities.
Posted 9 May 2023 23:57
During the site visit, BA1 & BA2 students were actively engaged in the process of exploring and documenting the site. They used their sketching and photography skills to capture the essence of the St. Mary's market and the surrounding areas. The students were keen to document everything from the buildings to the people, and they showed great enthusiasm and creativity throughout the exercise. Their sketches and photographs are an important record of the site and will serve as inspiration for the design process that will follow.
Sketches and Photography by Letitia Zhao
Posted 10 May 2023 00:33
Sanji's Thoughts - MA1
The site visit to St Helens provided a brilliant insight into the atmosphere of artists in the area and their ideal artistic space. The experience encouraged BA students to interact with the collaborators and share ideas while getting to know one another. This interaction created a bond between collaborators and students, allowing for more productive collaboration. The site visit was engaging and provided an opportunity to see the target audience's needs and wants first-hand. Overall, the experience was a positive step towards developing innovative proposals for the artist spaces, and the learning outcomes from the day will contribute to the success of the project.
Posted 10 May 2023 18:45
Day 2: Idea Development
We focused on developing proposals to reimagine the St Helens artists' studios. In the morning session, each person had the opportunity to develop their own scheme, which provided a great platform for students to showcase their creativity and individuality. In the afternoon, we joined back together to combine our ideas and perspectives, which allowed for a more collaborative and synergistic approach to the project.
After that, we split into groups, and each group was tasked with proposing solutions for the artist studios, ranging from minimal changes to a completely new build. This allowed us to explore a wide range of possibilities and encouraged us to think outside the box. By the end of the day, we had developed some exciting ideas that had the potential to revolutionize the artist studios in St Helens. We were able to leverage our individual strengths and creativity to come up with innovative and impactful proposals.
Posted 10 May 2023 19:20
At the start of our day, we engaged in an ice-breaking activity where each of us was asked to bring an item that represented us. It was a great opportunity to get to know each other beyond our roles as architects and to discover our diverse interests and passions. Some people brought objects that showcased their love for music, while others brought items related to art or crocheting. It was refreshing to see that everyone had something unique and personal to share.
Posted 10 May 2023 21:56
The BA students were divided into two groups, with one assigned to document the artist studios, while the other group was tasked with reimagining the spaces.
Documenting the Artist Studios
One of the groups was tasked to document the artist studios using Autocad. The BA students utilized the images they had taken during the site visit to ensure the accuracy of their documentation. Using AutoCAD, they created detailed representations of the studios, which provided a comprehensive overview of the space. This task allowed the students to practice and improve their technical skills while also gaining a deeper understanding of the artist studios through hands-on experience.
Reimagining the Artist Studios
Another group was assigned to reimagine the artists' spaces by creating sketches. They were tasked to come up with creative ideas and suggestions on how to improve the existing artist studios. By sketching out their ideas, they were able to visualize the potential changes and improvements that can be made in the space. This activity also allowed them to practice their design skills and think critically about how to make the space more functional and aesthetically pleasing for the artists who will be using it.
Posted 10 May 2023 22:46
At the end of the day, the students had created several outcomes from their work. The group assigned to reimagine the artists' spaces produced conceptual sketches that showed their ideas and visions for how the space could be transformed. These sketches showed their creative ideas and the potential for the space.
Overall, the day's activities provided an opportunity for the students to explore and engage with the artist studios in a meaningful way. The conceptual sketches and digital visualizations created by the students showcase their creativity and technical abilities, while also highlighting the potential for the space to be reimagined and transformed in new and exciting ways.
Sketches and Visualisations by Amani Ogundeko, Da Lan, Finbar Smith, Letitia Zhao, Remon Salami & Mohammed Al Girgeet
Posted 10 May 2023 23:05
Landa's Thoughts- BA1
I learnt the necessity of knowing the special configuration of the site in order to generate designs, instead of seeing limitations as a weakness, rather using them as opportunities in the design process.
Posted 10 May 2023 23:19
Day 3: Proposal Development
On the third day of the project, the focus was on execution, and the students were split into groups to work on producing visualisations and a physical model. Each group was given the task of bringing their ideas and concepts to life through a combination of digital and physical representation. The groups were able to use the documentation and sketches from the previous days as a foundation for their designs but also had the freedom to explore their own unique interpretations of the space.
Posted 11 May 2023 20:21
At the beginning of the day, the students were divided into two groups: the physical model-making group and the visualisation group.
The physical model-making group was tasked with constructing the existing artist studios. This task required them to explore their creativity in a tangible way.
On the other hand, the visualisation group was tasked with producing digital visualisations of their reimagined artist workshops. This task allowed them to explore their own unique interpretations of the space and develop their creative and technical skills.
Posted 11 May 2023 20:26
In the second half of the day, the students reconvened with their respective groups to review and discuss the designs they had produced earlier. The main focus of the discussion was to identify commonalities and differences between each group's designs and how they could be combined to create a cohesive and comprehensive plan.
The students were tasked with translating their abstract ideas and concepts into concrete drawings that could be used as a blueprint for the actual construction of the artist workshops. This required careful consideration of the technical aspects of their designs, such as dimensions, materials, and structural elements.
By working together and pooling their ideas, the students were able to come up with a range of feasible designs that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This exercise not only challenged the students to think critically about their designs but also gave them an opportunity to collaborate and communicate effectively as a team.
Posted 11 May 2023 20:28
After the discussion, we were able to merge the ideas generated by the two groups and create two schemes for the artists' studios. The first scheme involved minimal changes to the existing layout, while the second scheme incorporated more drastic changes.
The minimal scheme focused on minor adjustments to the current layout, such as changing the placement of furniture and optimizing the use of space. This scheme aimed to enhance the current functionality of the artist workshop without the need for major structural changes.
On the other hand, the drastic scheme aimed to reimagine the entire space by incorporating new design elements and spatial configurations. This scheme involved significant structural changes and would require more extensive renovations to the artist workshop.
Overall, by producing two schemes with different degrees of change, we were able to provide options that cater to a wide range of preferences and needs. The next step would be to develop drawings and visualizations of the two schemes to further refine and communicate our ideas.
Visualisations done by Amani Ogundeko, Letitia Zhao & Lily Clarke
Posted 11 May 2023 20:31
Finbar's Thoughts- BA1
I enjoyed the group conversations and felt comfortable voicing my opinions on the project, everyone had an input and got involved. Working on a project for a shorter amount of time was refreshing and coming up with new ideas at a faster pace was a nice change
Posted 11 May 2023 20:38
Day 4: Developing Plans
Today, the students shifted their focus to developing their design ideas into concrete plans. This involved taking the abstract concepts and ideas generated in the previous days and translating them into detailed and specific drawings, diagrams, and models. The students worked at a steady pace throughout the day, with one group continuing their model-making while another group focused on finalizing visuals for the A1 board.
Posted 12 May 2023 21:04
The use of the 1:100 scale figures and furniture provided a tangible representation of the space, enabling the students to see how the furniture would fit in the space and how people would interact with it. This allowed the students to make more informed decisions about the placement and layout of the furniture, ensuring that it would be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Additionally, the students were provided with a website that contained dimensions for furniture and fixtures commonly used in design projects. This resource allowed the students to have a quick and easy reference for the dimensions of the furniture they were working with, saving them time and ensuring that their plans were accurate.
Posted 12 May 2023 21:09
Developing plans involved a more technical and precise approach, as they had to consider the dimensions of the furniture and spaces in order to create detailed and accurate plans.
In order to facilitate this process, the students participated in a session where furniture and human figures to a 1:100 scale were printed out. They were then able to experiment with different configurations of the furniture and figures within their plans, allowing them to test and refine their designs.
Posted 12 May 2023 21:25
Amani's Thoughts- BA1
The thing I learned was about layout and scale in plan drawings and that it’s useful to print out people and furniture to scale to use to test out different layouts. so it overall helps you see the scale and the most efficient layout to draw a plan.
Posted 15 May 2023 17:33
2nd Action Week
During the second week of our action plan, our focus is on finalizing design scheme leading up to the last day for consultation and feedback before the exhibition. Overall, our aim is to create comprehensive and visually impactful designs for the artists of St Helens.
Posted 15 May 2023 18:05
Day 5: Finalising the Scheme
The students are fully focused on completing their proposals for the artist studios. This day is crucial as it marks the final stage of their design development. Throughout the session, we provide the students with continuous feedback and guidance to ensure that their proposals align with the project objectives and meet the required standards. We provide guidance on various aspects, such as spatial configurations, material selection, and overall design coherence.
Posted 15 May 2023 18:56
The students are fully engaged in bringing their designs to fruition. They dedicate their time and energy to perfecting their visualizations, ensuring that they accurately depict their proposed artist studios. Simultaneously, the students continue with the model-making process, refining and adding any remaining elements to complete their physical models. They pay close attention to the scale and proportions. This process allows them to understand the spatial relationships and physical aspects of their designs in a tangible way.
Posted 15 May 2023 19:00
As the design development stage nears its end, it is truly gratifying to witness the students' enthusiasm and engagement with a variety of artistic mediums. They have embraced the opportunity to explore and experiment with different tools and techniques, including digital art, watercolor, and physical model making. This diverse range of mediums allows them to express their ideas in unique and creative ways, adding depth and richness to their design proposals.
Physical Model & Sketches by Landa, Mohammed & Amani
Posted 15 May 2023 19:02
Letitia's Thoughts- BA1
It has been exciting to work on a project that could have real-life impacts as well as being able to interact with students across different stages of the course.
Posted 15 May 2023 19:04
Day 7: Designs refined, postcards printed, models completed, and presentations rehearsed. Ready for the big day tomorrow!
Today was a flurry of activity as we made the final preparations for the upcoming public consultation. The students worked diligently to put the finishing touches on their design proposals, ensuring that every detail was perfected. Additionally, we printed a batch of vibrant postcards to be distributed to the public, capturing the essence of our project and inviting them to join us in celebrating the creativity of St Helens. The models were meticulously completed, showcasing the envisioned artist studios in all their glory. To top it off, the students engaged in a mock presentation, honing their delivery and fine-tuning their pitches. With everything in place, we are excited and ready to share our designs and ideas with the artists of St Helen's tomorrow.
Posted 17 May 2023 17:29
To ensure that our students are well-prepared for the upcoming public consultation, we conducted a mock presentation today. This exercise served as a valuable opportunity for the students to showcase their design proposals and receive constructive feedback. Each student had the chance to present their work, explaining their design concepts, highlighting key features, and articulating their vision for the artist's studios.
Posted 17 May 2023 17:30
Final touches on the physical model
In the final stages of preparation for the public consultation, our dedicated students focused on adding the final touches to the model that would be presented tomorrow. With meticulous attention to detail, they worked diligently to ensure that every aspect of the model accurately represented their design proposals for the artist studios in St Helens.
Posted 17 May 2023 17:31
In preparation for the public consultation, we took the important step of printing all the design proposals onto A1 boards. This allowed us to present the students' work in a visually impactful and professional manner, capturing the attention and imagination of the audience.
We also recognized the value of engaging with the local community and creating a lasting impression. To achieve this, we printed mini-sized postcards featuring highlights of each design. These postcards served as a tangible takeaway for the people of St Helens.
Posted 17 May 2023 18:44
Mohammed's thoughts- BA2
I have enjoyed working with the group and getting a different perspective, working on such a short project is exciting as the ideas progress quicker and i got to see a different way of carrying out a project having to come up with quick design solutions.