As part of our Professional Diploma in Architecture course at the Centre for Alternative Technology, our first project is to look at an existing abandoned old Forestry Commission mini village and community situated in Ceinws a small village a few miles from CAT. The camp was set up just after the war to provide jobs and has been out of use for many many years.
There is a huge need for affordable housing in such a small rural community and our project is to use this site to provide affordable rural housing and incorporate multi-use flexible community space for community activities, potential work spaces and studios and anything we feel during our research the village would benefit from.
We set ourselves out in groups of three or four and split the tasks up so we would all have an area of investigation to go and get on with in our three weeks away from CAT. Topics included topology, history, energy, user requirements, legal issues, funding and politics surrounding the site.
My group chose client and user information and requirements. A lot of statistical information and percentages which provided me with the opportunity to design an infographic. I've always wanted to try one and this presented the perfect opportunity; a way of clearly and effectively communicating a wealth of information in a presentable and visually stimulating graphic.
The course is geared towards us getting what we want from it, an opportunity to explore our interests in sustainability, renewable technologies, alternative material selection and a whole host of subjects that embody sustainability and adaptation in the built environment.
Even something as simple as being able to try out a graphical presentation technique that I've always wanted to makes me a happy student! It's only eighteen months long this course but if I can do one thing every month that I haven't been able to do before and learn from it then it'll be a course worth every penny!