Hello, and welcome to our blog! We are Silvani, one of the teams taking part in the Group Design Projects here at Imperial College London. Follow our progress here and on Twitter, @GPDesignPS and @ICVelocity, as we develop interesting designs for new facilities in the City of Sheffield.
Over the next few weeks we will be designing a new cycling superhub complete with community amenities and innovative cycle storage facilities, as well as satellite cycle parking structures. The main remit of the project is to use timber construction, which itself presents some interesting opportunities and challenges for the project.
Brief summary of Week 1:
• Project scoping
• Idea generation
• Design concepts
• Research and development
The first week was all about expanding the scope, determining the deliverables within our brief and generally familiarising ourselves with what we wanted to achieve. From this, we started our creative design process, coming up with abstract shapes and forms, and then moving onto conceptual designs.
This week we began focussing our design process. From last week, we shortlisted around a dozen designs, before selecting two to investigate further. We presented these two designs to our academic supervisors for their opinions, and have subsequently chosen one design to take further in our group project.
We continued building up our knowledge bank, furthering our research into aspects such as imposed loading requirements and cycle storage innovation. Throughout the week we maintained a holistic view of the project, thinking about sustainability and accessibility as well as aesthetics and technical detail. Part of this process involved producing bubble diagrams to visualise how our spaces will interact, which follows on from conceptual designs of the first week.
Looking to next week we will continue developing our chosen design, using 3D models and floor plans for visualisations. We will also spend some time on about our material choice, storage solution and business plan.
And so it begins…
Our tale began last week when, with full hearts and light shoulders, we strutted into the unknown world of Sheffield, park-and-cycle superhubs, timber structures, and British wood species. We had high hopes of combining these four themes into one extraordinary building.
Needless to say, the first few days were not as advertised. Extensive research followed, on everything from timber to bike storage, from connections to fire, from cycling habits in the UK to Sheffield tourist facilities. Luckily, as fate would have it, we got to conclude each evening with idea generation of fantastical structures, keeping the hope alive for another day.
By the end of the week, we had over thirty sketches and mountains of research. This was compiled into a report of all our learning and thoughts and taken it for inspection on Wednesday. Once our ideas had been heard and their shortcomings highlighted, aired and judged we went back to the drawing board (literally).
The last fourty-eight hours are a blur to me, dear reader. We have a brand new design, a new perspective on this project and most of all, a very long to-do list. After battling with Eurocodes and their elusive National Annexes for many hours, all I can say is: TGIF. (Which would be applicable if I wasn’t working on this all tomorrow too - no pain, no gain).
1-2 of 2