Workshop 20.09 – 22.09.12 Campaign for a Better Plymouth

“.. Every city in the world can be improved in less than three years”
“Creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget , if you cut two zeros, it’s much better”
Jaime Lerner

In recognition and inspired by Jaime Lerner’s mayoral leadership of the city of Curitiba, this workshop will explore the potential for strengthening and building resilience in the city of Plymouth through the convergence of cultural, ecological, economic and social structures. The implications of this agenda on the designed environment: artefacts and tools, buildings, and urban design will be act as a visual frame of reference for this discussion.
Plymouth is dependent, as all cities are, on local, regional, national and international context for its survival. Over the last few years failures in these structures and emerging risks have been highlighted which include, the global financial crisis, peak oil, resource depletion, climate change, demographic change and environmental degradation. Plymouth has suffered and will continue to suffer from these challenges.
As Architects, City planners, Designers and Engineers we are well placed to develop solutions that may reduce or restructure dependencies between the city and its wider environment by re-imagining ways of connecting social, economic, environmental
challenges to make a more equitable society. These solutions may have far reaching consequences, both financial and political.
In Curitiba, Jaime Lerner implemented a range of solutions such as the use of municipal sheep to cut the grass in its vast parks to city wide recycling scheme that exchanges recyclable waste for food produce or bus transport tickets. Common to these solutions was a realistic approach to finance (a rapid bus system was selected instead of an underground system) and to solve a number of issues through one intervention.
In this workshop we will ask what are the risks to Plymouths future? How can we restructure its dependencies and bring together cultural, ecological, economic and social concerns through the design of artefacts and the built environment to enable a more resilient city? Finally what are the necessary political and economic structures needed to deliver these changes or the consequences of these designs for them?

Working in small teams, M.Arch students were challenged to develop a campaign for a better Plymouth. Using last years projects as a platform for discussion, each team identified a key resource that the city needs to exist and how this resource might be restructured in order to create a more resilient Plymouth. Teams were asked to produce an A2 poster to support their campaign.

Proposals are a mix of the feasible, radical, evocative, exciting, controversial……

[more posters and descriptions will be added as they are made available…]

Team 1: Alexander Lloyd-Murphy, Sotiria Sarri, David Johnson, Lucas Ward
Stop, Look, Live: description to follow….

Team 2: Tasos Siakotos, Suzanne O’Donovan, Thomas Penny
The Well-Fare State: A Campaign for Urban Farming leading to greener, cleaner and more self sufficient cities. Job-seekers will contribute 16 hours per week to urban farming in return for full benefits payment and free produce. Surplus produce sold to retailers with possibility of profit share amongst farm workers. Local farmers will provide expertise and training.

Team 3: Anna Berger, Thomas Ford, Adam Adamopoulos, Jaimie-Lynne Li How Cheong
Title: description to follow….

Team 4: Antonis Serferlis, Isla Melville, Jack Woodward
Let’s Take it Back: is designed to be from a community to its people. A community group is currently fighting for the ownership of the much loved building, The Palace Theatre on Union Street. The poster aims to evoke an emotional response by using the iconic building, which will hopefully provide a catalyst for change for the area. The poster appeals to people to get involved and take ownership, suggesting that if streets and buildings aren’t being cared for by their owners, as a community ‘let’s take it back’ and make it a better place. The poster uses the ‘Dig for Victory’ posters as inspiration, by providing a clear slogan to rally people together for a cause.

Team 5: Charlotte Shobrook, Konstantinos Ipeirotis, Chloe Willis, Matthew Clark
Grow Your Own City: description to follow….

Team 6: Xenofon Moratis, Sarah Morgan, Lee Cheetham, Matthew Coker
The Trash Tracker: Campaign to raise people’s awareness about waste management through children involvement.

Team 7: Dan Green, Cho Chua, Dido Graham, Emily Argyll
‘Who’s City’ challenges the concept of identity and ownership within Plymouth City. The distinct disconnection between the city and the waterfront, fractured by pockets of inaccessible private sectors creates a series of spaces difficult to negotiate and even harder to generate a sense of belonging. Whilst the naval presence has an obvious economic and political advantage to Plymouth, it also has detrimental effects to how the city is experienced. ‘Who’s City’ seeks to highlight the identity crisis within Plymouth and urge the people of the city to reclaim and embrace all aspects of life in Plymouth.

Team 8: Theodora Papanastasiou, Damien Bulman, Alice Sorandis, Christopher John Hinitt
Title: description to follow….

Team 9: Chris Turner, Maria Michail, Louise Main, Muhammad Syauqi Norshah Hefny
A campaign to highlight critical issues within Plymouth regarding transport infrastructure and the inheritance of a clumsy, over-engineered road system from the post-war plan for Plymouth. To achieve momentum and gain a meaningful base of interested individuals for which to generate the discussion of issues and ideas for the city, a cycling ‘flash-mob’ has been organised, with a networking event organised at the finish line. Long term goals are to achieve better integration between vehicles and pedestrians in the city centre with a view to creating a centre where people will once again want to live as well as work and shop.


Team 10: Evie Charalampous, Ian McNeil, Joshua Cole, Owen Hill
Title: description to follow….

Team 11: Sophia Souglidou, Stephen Walrond, Christian Allen, Sonja Peshkoff
Title: description to follow….

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