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Popsticks, play and prototypes

Feb 13, 2018

We approach all engagement with a genuine desire to involve people in the design process and drive the development of a project. Before Christmas, our team was lucky enough to facilitate numerous ‘blue sky thinking’ sessions with students from every year group of Pulteney Grammar School, from the prep school right through to the senior school, along with staff, the school board and old scholars.

We heard from the whole community about the experiences they want to have in the school’s external environment.

When developing master plans – and with all our work – we welcome all views and aspirations, and importantly engagement processes that are innovative, fun and interactive, and are tailored to the target audience. Most importantly, we design these processes and utilise a variety of techniques to ensure we gather the information we need to design places that reflect both the objectives of the project as well as what we learn through engagement.

We always prefer active participation in the design process and this project was no different, using various cognitive mapping techniques to ensure evaluation can be undertaken about what is currently valued by the school and elements that can be improved or renewed moving forward. This was combined with an aspiriational development process, to encourage an ‘if we could’ mentality.

There was much to enjoy about this process, though our favourite aspect was the playspace plans developed by the prep school students. Katarina ran a workshop with the year 3-4 students, outlining how to design their favourite playground. We now have unique insight (with models) to embed their vision into the landscape master plan.

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