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Zettersten, Ann (2008) The Mulberry School. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

The quality of a design can improve essentially through a participatory designprocess. Initially, The Mulberry School project was supposed to be finished in two months but the involvement of artist Scott G Burnham extended the work and brought a new dimension into the project. In the beginning, Scott and I both worked on the project unaware of each other. I was appointed by the architect to design the external areas of the school and based on a site survey and analysis of the factors infl uencing the site I created a design proposal with the concept form and function. At the same time Scott performed a series of workshops initiated by the school. The purpose and goal was to include the students in the redevelopment of the school and to produce a design based on the thoughts and wishes of the students. As Scott and I, by chance became aware of each others existence, an integrated designprocess began. Since Scott, as an artist specialises in forming relationships between people and their shared environments the workshops became a qualitative sociological study in youth's relationship to the environment. Because of the artistic character of the study and the qualitative, not quantitative approach, I found it interesting to study literature that has been written on the subject. The literature studies confi rmed the outcome of the workshops and they both express the problem and task of the youth that lies in the process of growing up and preparing for life as an adult. The studies show that teenagers are very aware of the environment that surrounds them and that it affects them in their process of personal development. The designprocess led to a design that was based on the thoughts and ideas of the students. The result was four courtyards with different mood and character. The project made me realise what an enourmous contribution an artist can make to the designprocess of landscape architects. People's relationship to the environment should be a core issue for anyone who creates environments for the use of other people and therefore I would like to see more people like Scott involved in shaping the environment. The physical result of the design process was a design, but I think what was most important for me was that through this dissertation I started questioning the design and the designprocess. Unanswered questions like: Did we control the answers of the students in the workshops and put words in their mouths? Did we really express the minds of the students or build a monument over ourselves? How will the students perceive the courtyards? Will the new design make a difference in the life of the students and help the students to develop their identities? Questioning is, in my opinion, the best way of growing, intellectually and personally.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: landskapsarkitektur, skolgårdar, samarbete med konstnärer, konstnär, tonåringar, gestaltning
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Ann Zettersten
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:15
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/3342

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