Reflections on Design
“To develop an understanding of the design parameters of neighbourhood development in context, around housing needs, community facilities, and viability -To improve the knowledge of the nature and processes of urban residential development and design -To To appreciate and incorporate principles of sustainable development into the creation of new and existing residential/mixed areas – To understand the master planning process and the need for sustainable development To understand the master planning process and the use of design coding for more significant sites.”（NCL,2022)
The project required the design of a large area and a team of three people to complete the large site. This was not a group task; each person was designed independently but linked to the other two areas. In the early design ideas for the site, the other two had included a lot of housing, and with this in mind, I didn’t think I would have to add enough housing and buildings at first.
My design ideas
When I first started, I wanted to have a vast open space for the people in the neighborhood to use. Many residential areas also surround the large site, and the other two design areas are both residential buildings. So I wanted my site to be predominantly public space and public buildings.
But my teachers have advised me to add more buildings. Otherwise, the site would appear empty and not rich in function but would instead lead to a derelict site. So I have been thinking about making this public site more multifunctional by adding more public buildings.
On the morning of 22 March, I was inspired by James Perry’s lecture (A short Introduction to Design Guides). The lecture showed us a plan for the whole site, basically a residential building with no public buildings. This one function showed us a completely different kind of community. An area that I had not considered before.
I initially thought that the northern part of the site was unsuitable for housing because of the presence of the factory, and the eastern part was wrong for housing because of the train line. However, their design plan put both of these areas into residential buildings but added enough greenery and public space. The buildings themselves were soundproofed so that both of these issues were successfully resolved.
So I find that there may be something wrong with the way I have been thinking: a house can be more than just a single dwelling; it can be designed to be very diverse and to have its unique character. Dealing with the interaction between neighbors should also be considered in the design. A good house does not want people to stay indoors, but rather to be able to feel the sunshine outside, and in good weather to leave the house and go out to feel nature and the people.
The residential area does not mean that there are no other functions than living. All the public spaces in the residential area can be used to good effect if the relationship between personal and public space is managed correctly.
In the design process, we may decide which functions are needed or not because of specific characteristics of the site, including our subjective feelings. There is no conflict between role and function, a place can meet many different parts, and it is up to the designer to think about how to achieve that.