Group 40

We are Navigating Stockport, a student-led MSA team partnering with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council to develop an innovative wayfinding scheme in the town center. Our project aims to establish connections between the Redrock Entertainment Complex and the Underbanks area by implementing interventions along Little Underbanks. Additionally, we will be addressing the development of two vacant sites earmarked for future projects.

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Kirandeep J / Jason Y / Kane C / Hiba A / Neeladit N

We had our first group site visit to Stockport on January 29th, where we were shown around the Underbanks area by Peter, our collaborator at Stockport Council.
The group touched base with Peter at St. Petersgate Bridge in the Little Underbanks area, a key local landmark that will feature right at the heart of the project going forward. The tour then took us to our first ‘gap site’, these being vacant plots in the old town centre that have been earmarked for low-cost, low-impact development. Peter explained that the council were looking at different potential uses for the site such as a pocket park or bin storage for the nearby shops/bars. We then moved onto Lower Hillgate where we visited our second gap site. This one, however, has complicated level constraints which will therefore require a careful and considered design to fully maximise what the council aim to get out of the site.
Following the introduction of the two gap sites, Peter led us along the route back towards the Redrock entertainment complex, outlining the key developments that were taking place along the route that we would be producing ideas for. We were kindly invited into the co-works offices ran by Kelsall Architects who discussed their ongoing nearby projects, highlighting completed works on a scale model of Stockport using bright orange pieces - this helped explain the shared vision that the practice has in partnership with the council in developing the town into a new cultural centre for northern independents.
To round off the site visit, Peter introduced us to the Merseyway Shopping Centre and Market Place, giving us a good understanding of where the largest footfalls were in the town centre, shedding light on areas that would need to be linked into our new wayfinding route through the town. Overall, the site visit gave a good introduction to Stockport and our client, helping us understand the need for a project of this kind.
Posted 3 Mar 2024 23:32
Hi there, I'm Jason !

My academic path started with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Huddersfield, followed by nearly two years of immersive work experience at ALNBM Architects. There, my focus was primarily on residential development projects and mid-scale refurbishment and reuse projects.

Outside of my professional life, I'm passionate about exploration, photography, and playing badminton. Currently, I'm embarking on an exciting project to explore and understand Stockport better. I'm eager to see where this new adventure leads us!
Posted 12 Mar 2024 16:57
I’m Kane, a part-time student from Manchester currently in my 2nd year of the MArch course here at MSA. I completed my undergraduate studies in Sheffield before moving back home to Manchester to find industry experience. Since then, I have been working at Millson Group, a small practice specialising in Architectural Design, Development and Planning Services based in Manchester. Working in a small team taking on a vast array of tasks across numerous projects has given me a great insight into the role of an Architect and has allowed me to stay active in the professional environment whilst studying at MSA.
Aside from Architecture I’m usually running, in the gym or playing football.

I’m really looking forward to getting going on this exciting project!
Posted 12 Mar 2024 17:11
Hi ! I'm Hiba

I grew up in the UAE where I have completed my BArch at the American University of Sharjah. I also gained my experience at an international consultancy in Dubai where I worked as an architect on large scale architecture & urban design projects across the Middle East and Africa.

Now at MSA, I'm part of the CPU atelier, a place that allows me to use my interest for software, explore adaptive reuse futures, and learn more about sustainable design. Besides architecture, I enjoy hobbies like swimming, hiking, playing piano and knitting.

I'm excited to be working on the Underbanks project at Stockport, and I look forward to bringing new life to the area through innovative design.
Posted 13 Mar 2024 01:30
Hey there! I'm Kiran,

I am in my first year of MArch course at MSA. Originally from Derby, I completed my undergrad at the University of Lincoln before embarking on a new experience in London for two years of industry experience.

When I'm not sketching and immersed in the world of design, you'll catch me on hiking trails or finding my zen on the yoga mat.

I am excited to start this collaborative Live project!

Posted 13 Mar 2024 09:41
Hi everyone,
I'm Neeladit, but you can call me Neel for short.
I started off my journey in Calcutta, the old British capital of India and then moved to Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. After which my family had the opportunity to move to the USA for a couple of years where I stayed in southwest region, Arizona. Next on the itinerary was back to India where I stayed in Bangalore for probably the longest period of my life till I moved to the beautiful beach town of Manipal for my undergrad.
I've completed my undergrad from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning and worked at a firm for about 2 and half years until I came to Manchester for my Masters in Architecture.
Currently I'm in M.Arch 1 and my atelier is SKN which is very fitting for my love for nature and everything organic but I'm always battling with my design style of crisp, minimal, detail oriented and pure designs versus the organicness of SKN.
Looking forward to MSA Live!
Posted 16 Mar 2024 13:08
As a team, we organised our upcoming meeting schedules and outlined our project's overarching objectives. Our initial focus was on generating ideas for our poster, aiming to establish a cohesive identity and theme for our wayfinding strategy. Collaborating in the studio, we collectively sketched concepts for our poster design. Additionally, we are devising a communication plan with our external coordinators to ensure our visions will align.
Posted 17 Mar 2024 09:47
Meeting at the MTC, our team embarked on a creative journey to conceptualise the perfect poster for MSA Live, aimed at enticing prospective students to join our team. From a brainstorming session to playful doodles on paper, each sketch brought us closer to creating our vision. Our poster serves as a narrative, showcasing the pivotal sites our wayfinding strategy aims to connect. Stay tuned as we are inviting others to embark on this exciting adventure with us!
Posted 17 Mar 2024 10:02
Moving forward as a team, we've implemented a strategic division of tasks to ensure a comprehensive scheme while avoiding overwhelming any team members. To maintain organisation, we've used Microsoft Teams, keeping our lines of communication clear. Through regular team meetings, we ensure alignment on our shared vision while allowing individual focus on distinct elements of our project.
Posted 17 Mar 2024 10:09
We are excited to kick off our collaboration with the Stockport Borough Council for the redevelopment of the route from Redrock to the Underbanks!

The Site: A route from the comparatively newly built Redrock area to the historic Underbanks zone. The site also consists of three gap sites that have the potential to be reused for the benefit of the area.

The Brief: Provide a revamped wayfinding route so there is an increase in footfall from Redrock to Underbanks. The current route is riddled with issues and doesn't invite the crowd to visit Underbanks. This in turn is affecting the local businesses of the area. There are also three gap sites which are currently left derelict and are in urgent need of a purpose. Overall this project is a combination of urban design and landscape integration.

The Client: On paper the client is Stockport Borough Council but in reality its the small business owners and the users that visit Stockport and are looking to enjoy themselves. This project is for the people as it benefits the members of the community.
Posted 18 Apr 2024 20:12
Journey to wayfinding: Action Plan Unveiled!
We are absolutely thrilled to share the beginning of the action plan we've passionately crafted to chart our journey and celebrate each step of our wayfinding project. It's not just a roadmap; it's the heartbeat of our team and the adventure ahead!

Our action-packed journey begins with a dynamic first day filled with exciting interactions. We’ll be welcoming our innovative new team members from Landscape Design, BA1, and BA2. The day is set to spark connections with an ice-breaking session, followed by an engaging project introduction, a hands-on site visit, and a session of interactive sketching to capture fresh impressions from the site. It's essential that we all align perfectly with our shared visions and goals right from the start.

Moving forward, we'll dive into the brainstorming phase, where we'll break into small, focused groups of three to explore various facets of wayfinding. Each group will tackle dedicated tasks, honing our initial concepts into something tangible. We're all buzzing with anticipation for the next step—rolling up our sleeves for hands-on 3D concept modelling and production, all set to unfold over the next six days. And we can’t wait to showcase our progress to Peter, our esteemed client from Stockport.
Posted 7 May 2024 20:20
Our day began at Rhode Island Coffee in Stockport, where we carried hard copies of the interactive surveys we've developed over the last few weeks. These surveys are crucial for gathering detailed feedback directly from the community, enhancing our understanding of their needs and perceptions. Today, we started visiting local communities and neighbourhoods around the proposed Wayfind Path, fully prepared to engage deeply with residents and collect their valuable insights.

During our visits, we also had a meaningful conversation with a part-time artist who commutes from the Lake District to work in Stockport. He emphasised how a wayfinding strategy could significantly benefit the area, especially in revitalising the often isolated and overlooked Underbanks. Our interactive surveys are central to this effort, ensuring that the community's voices are heard and guide our actions. This initiative is quickly becoming an exciting exploration into the heart of Stockport's neighbourhoods, filled with discovery and opportunities for meaningful change.
Posted 8 May 2024 00:47
Collaborating with our client, we embarked on a journey of innovation and alignment. Through insightful discussions and a concise presentation, we explored feasible ideas with the council's vision. This not only deepened our understanding of the project's materiality but also shed light on available funding avenues. With clarity on objectives and resources, we outlined the project's potential outputs, setting the stage for transformative impact.
Posted 8 May 2024 16:42

The group met at MTC for our first introduction session and after a few icebreakers & chit-chat we headed off to Stockport for our group site visit. We began our wayfinding route from its closest point at the first gap site and followed the path along Little Underbanks to our second gap site and then onwards to Redrock, the routes final destination. After introducing the group to the route and gap sites, we ventured around the town centre and had a short tea & coffee break at Stockport Market. To round off the trip, the group conducted a collaborative urban acupuncture workshop back at the MTC to gather everyone’s initial ideas for potential interventions and themes for the project.  Roll on day 2!
Posted 8 May 2024 17:07
A deep dive into collaborative research and narrative finding!

On the second day of MSA Live, our team split into three groups, each assigned to explore and revitalize a distinct section of the site. Our focus was to develop low-budget, environmentally conscious interventions tailored to the unique characteristics of the Underbanks route and the two gap sites. We kickstarted with inspirations through precedent studies and mood board presentations, setting a strong direction for our research. After extensive research and analysis, we crafted narratives that will guide our design development in the upcoming days. Using tools like sketches and digital mapping, we envisioned solutions that pay attention to the natural and social fabric of the site. The day wrapped up with a comprehensive exchange of ideas that addressed the design narratives, ensuring a cohesive and impactful design strategy. The input of various perspectives of our team has enriched our approach, and we eagerly anticipate further refining these concepts in the days to come.
Posted 9 May 2024 05:33
Day 3 of Action Week
Planning, planning, planning! The day was spent gathering data and introspecting the possibilities between the possible and the impossible. Eventually the team made some head way into a plan for the upcoming days and worked towards putting the ideas on paper.
Posted 13 May 2024 17:52
Day 4

Turning Our Ideas into Reality!

Everyone had the opportunity to bring their ideas to life through drawings, collages, and 3D modelling. The team experimented with different designs, textures, and materialities, pushing the boundaries of their creativity. During lunch, participants had the chance to network and exchange ideas, with many sharing their visions and aspirations. The break was filled with vibrant discussions, inspiring everyone to refine and expand their approach. After lunch, the excitement continued as participants approached the project by creating 2D and 3D designs that reflected real-world applications. We delved into more advanced 3D modelling techniques, exploring new ways to bring concepts to life. We wrapped up the day with a showcase of the day's work. The variety and quality of the designs were truly impressive, reflecting the hard work and dedication of all involved.

Stay tuned for Day 5 of MSA Live Action Week as we continue to turn our ideas into reality!
Posted 14 May 2024 04:21
Day 5

The day began with a productive group discussion, ensuring everyone was on the same page with their tasks and objectives. Each team member is fully engaged, working diligently to reach their respective milestones.

The proposal for Gap Site 1 was refined and reconfigured into attachable pieces which can be assembled and disassembled to create a flexible space, also matching the low budget requirement demanded by the client.

Meanwhile, Gap Site 2 teams collaborated closely to develop adaptable spaces capable of accommodating bin storage and a community playground. Simultaneously, the wayfinding groups strategized using portable street furniture to guide more people into Underbank and to create an interactive street experience.

Everyone is very collaborative and energetic about bringing the ideas to life for Underbank wayfinding. We have also sent out emails to our client Peter to confirm the final meeting on the upcoming Friday and to present our fascinating ideas for wayfinding and the gap sites.
Posted 14 May 2024 17:34
Day 6
The team met again at the MTC and began with an informal chat to see how everyone got on with their tasks the previous day. We then got back to work within our designated groups to help push together towards our final outputs.
The students covering Gap Site 2 made great progress with their required plan layout (pictured) as well as making large strides with the 3D virtual model, helping to contribute towards the final GS1 visual.
The group covering Gap Site 1 took a slightly different approach, making use of the B15 workshop to produce a scaled model of a multi-purpose timber panel structure they had designed (pictured), with the idea of utilising numerous of these interventions across the entire wayfinding route.
The final group covering the Wayfinding aspect of the project made progress with the overall plan visually linking the interventions across the scheme, whilst also producing the templates for both the A5 publication and the content for the presentation to be carried out to SMBC on the final day of the project.
Posted 14 May 2024 22:46
Day 7

Preparation & Design Refinement

Day 7 was another milestone in our journey towards revitalising the Underbanks. The team started the day with an informal catch-up session to share updates on progress made and any challenges faced.
Gap Site 1 Progress
The team working on Gap Site 1 made significant strides today. Our concept of creating attachable and detachable pieces for flexible space utilisation was refined further. By focusing on modular design, we ensured that the space can be easily reconfigured to meet various needs while staying within the client’s budget. Meanwhile, the digital 3D model has been completed as well to convey the design concept and dynamic interventions, and the team have now shifted their focus to producing high-quality renders and visualisations.
Gap Site 2 Progress
Over at Gap Site 2, the team continued their impressive work from the previous day. They refined the plan layout, incorporating feedback and ensuring every detail was meticulously accounted for. Their 3D virtual model is now near completion, offering a comprehensive visual representation that will be instrumental for the final presentation. The model is crucial for our final visual presentation of Gap Site 2, demonstrating both aesthetic and functional aspects of the design.
Wayfinding Team progress
The Wayfinding group made significant strides today as well. They finalised the overall plan, ensuring a seamless visual connection between interventions across the scheme. Additionally, the team has been working on the 3D model to get ideas implemented and ready to be there in the final visuals. The team has almost completed the templates for the A5 publication and made substantial progress on the presentation content for SMBC. The progress made is pivotal in conveying the project's vision and goals effectively.

Posted 16 May 2024 11:54
Day 8

We consolidated our efforts to finalize the project, including the wayfinding strategy and addressing gap sites. This process involved crafting a clear and concise narrative for our presentation to seamlessly integrate the diverse themes. The majority of the team dedicated their time to refining the final renders.

We then came together as a team to rehearse our presentation to ensure a concise delivery is given and discusses the proceedings of the day.
Posted 17 May 2024 11:30
Final Presentation Day!
Today is the day all our hard work culminated into the presentation for Stockport Council. We came together for breakfast in the morning and then presented our work to the clients. Final consensus was, they really liked it! The clients felt we had produced something really professional and out of the box keeping in mind the budgetary issues of the project. All in all this was a great learning experience for all of us and we were all grateful for the opportunity provided.
Posted 17 May 2024 12:35
The Gantt chart was created and shared with everyone to illustrate how tasks are broken down into smaller components, ensuring that everyone understands our project and milestones.

We are working closely to meet our milestones as originally planned. Despite taking longer to propose concept ideas during the action week, we have successfully managed to follow the Gantt chart we created. The Gantt chart has had a significant impact on the project's success, guiding us through each phase and helping us stay on track, culminating in the successful presentation of our final proposal to the client.
Posted 17 May 2024 12:36