AHRC-FAPESP MoU - Public Spaces and the Role of the Architect: a comparative study of Modernist and contemporary examples in London and Sao Paulo

Lead Research Organisation: University of Westminster
Department Name: Faculty of Arch & the Built Environment

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This Anglo-Brazilian research project takes advantage of the complex and often spectacular legacy of architectural Modernism in both London and Sao Paulo (SP), and examines the public spaces in and around seminal examples of large scale Modernist architecture in both cities. In a social context of growing demand for greater democratic authorship and ownership of the built environment, in particular its public realm, the roles of the architect and of design need wider and deeper examination. The project will use the analysis of work from the 1960s and 70s in both cities as a way of reflecting historically on contemporary public space design, an important contribution to the current debates on 'place-making'.
The research teams from London and Sao Paulo will:
1) investigate the role of the architect in the production of contemporary public space in Sao Paulo and London from the perspective of the architect's very different role during the period of High Modernism (1960s/70s) in both cities;
2) examine whether there positive aspects to architectural Modernism in Sao Paulo and London that can be recovered to address the low quality of much contemporary public space in both cities, and
3) explore possible relationships between traditional top-down design in both countries, and the growing interest in the UK in participatory approaches, within the context of the contemporary design of public spaces in both cities? Does greater democracy in the delivery of the built environment increase its quality? its popularity?
4) develop and disseminate a wider and deeper understanding of the relation between the authorship and ownership of public space, post-war and now in both cities.
CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH:
Brazil had a 'golden period' of Modernism, the result of a social pact between the architect and society. This period and this pact are long over, and it could be argued that England, apart from a brief interlude centred around the Festival of Britain, never enjoyed a 'golden period', resisting Modernism's often alienating expression in built form. Today there are marked similarities between the two countries: they both have world class financial capitals, London and Sao Paulo, and they both have multicultural populations. They both suffer from a wide divide between rich and poor, and from chronic housing shortages. Most importantly, their cities think about public space defensively, mirroring social segregation with spatial segregation. The desertion of crime-ridden public space in Sao Paulo and its over-surveillance in London are symptoms of urban failure unanticipated by the optimism and egalitarianism of Modernism.
The Brazilian and UK teams will therefore select important Modernist and contemporary public space case studies in both cities to investigate the role of the architect in their production, and to discover whether useful knowledge can be transferred between cities in the interests of more 'successful' public spaces - i.e. enjoyed and frequented by the urban population as a whole.
APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS:
Architects, urban designers, and developers will benefit from a better understanding of the design of successful public spaces, and will gain a wider perspective on alternative forms of more participatory design that shift the centrality of the designer (and the developer) to varying degrees.
Planners and city councils will gain a greater appreciation of the role of design in the creation of public spaces, and of the ways in which the designer can subvert or contribute to their success.
Academics will benefit from a cross-cultural comparison that examines the Modernist production of public space in a new way - from the point of view of the designer and design practice. They will also benefit from a view that challenges fashionable ideas about the automatic undesirability of top-down design.

Planned Impact

The cross-cultural Public Spaces and the Architect projectis targeted at many audiences beyond the academic community (see 'Academic Beneficiaries'), in the interests of an improved understanding of the role of the architect in public space design, and consequently an improvement in public space design itself. Our built environment partners are the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the professional body of the architecture profession in the UK, which oversees architectural education, lobbies for the role of architecture in the production of the built environment, and promotes architectural culture, including its history, andthe Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and its International Development Network (IDN), which are committed to greater synergies between planning and urban design, and greater public awareness of the development of the public realm by both planners and designers. Both these bodies have a stake in the role of the architect in the built environment, and/or in the delivery of successful public spaces. They will therefore be keenly interested in a project thatchallenges the prevailing acceptance of the diminished role of the design professional in the production of public spaces, and which makes suggestions for improving the quality of public spaces by means of lessons drawn from two cultures and two time periods. There will be an immediate impact in 2017 - when the results and conclusions of the research are presented to our partners and discussed with them in terms of their contemporary application - and a long-term impact, as those to whom the research was presented disseminate it to other decision makers, in the interests of 'Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output'.

Our first UK government project partner is the British Council, which develops cultural relations in over 100 countries, working with thousands of policymakers, academics, curators and teachers in the UK and abroad to develop policy, professional standards and civil society in partner countries. For them, the primary interest in the project is in a successful cross-cultural collaboration between two HEIs, one in London and one in Sao Paulo. The means by which we collaborated, and repeatability of those means, will, if successful, influence funding policy on future collaborations, and serve as a useful template for arts and humanities research partnerships. The second is Design Council CABE, a semi-autonomous government body charged with improving the built environment and ensuring that places and communities are resilient and adaptable. They are consulted by Local Authorities across England, and by central government on developments of any size, and will welcome evidence of the role and importance of design in the delivery of public spaces.Our Brazilian government partner is the Municipal Secretariat of Culture, Department of Historical Patrimony (DPH) in Sao Paulo, for which Prof. Lefèvre has worked as president of CONRESP (see CV). The Municipal Secretariat for Culture is responsible for many important Sao Paulo cultural institutions. The research will contribute to policy formation/revision on historic conservationin the city. Again, some impact will be immediate (2016/17), as the research is presented to, and discussed with, these partners, and some will be long term, as this example of collaboration is referred to later as evidence useful for funding decisions.

In addition, our Research Fellows and PhD student will benefit greatly from the project, first in terms of cross-cultural collaboration, and the negotiation and open-mindedness that requires, which translates easily into other employment sectors, and second, in terms of transferable generic skills: writing and presentation skills, mapping and data analysis skills, visualisation and communication skills. This skills impact will develop over the course of the three year project, as our Fellows and PhD student pursue the research and its dissemination

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
AH/K007475/1 03/03/2014 31/01/2016 £404,243
AH/K007475/2 Transfer AH/K007475/1 01/02/2016 30/09/2017 £207,048
 
Description Writing as of the transfer of the project from the Royal College of Art to the University of Westminster in February 2016, the research has come to a number of useful conclusions, and will develop more in its final months. The main ones are, briefly, as follows:

1. The current anxieties about the 'privatisation' of public space are misdirected: management, not ownership, is crucial for pubic access to public spaces.
2. Ensuring that management is appropriate to the degree of access required for a public space is the responsibility of the Local Authority in London (councillors - policy/ planners - implementation), and the Mayor in Sao Paulo. It is not within the remit of the architect.
3. In order to realise the intentions of his/her public space designs, therefore, the architect needs to mediate between the predominantly private client and the Local Authority planner. This requires the architect and planner to speak each other's languages much more fluently, which in turn requires a reexamination of their training.
4. Disciplinary silos in the built environment are barriers to speeding up the planning and procurement processes. Planners need a much greater training in design, and architects in the economics of development.
5. Though one could safely discuss the role of 'the architect' in the production of public space post-war, one can no longer do so, as design roles are now much more fluid. Urban designers, landscape designers, 'public realm architects' AND architects can be commissioned to design public space, individually or in collaboration.
6. The division of labour in the designing of public spaces has shifted from the architect designing prominent ensembles of building and public space post-war, to now, a combination of professionals doing separated parts of this. The architect is keen to safeguard, or perhaps recover, supremacy among the complex teams now put together by developers for large projects. The client, on the other hand, simply wants what works best, and may very well alters the pecking order to suit the project and the skills on offer. It may be unrealistic to see the architect as anything but a collaborator in the production of public space - rather than the leader of the process.
7. Post-war in the UK, 45% of all architects were directly employed by the state, and as such, were the state's agents in the built environment, with all that implies about scale of impact and ability to effect change. The situation today couldn't be more different, with most architects working in private practice, and the state renouncing its once assumed duty to pay for and deliver the material public realm. The architect's role post-war to be a 'guardian of the public realm' (Louis Kahn) is therefore out of reach to today's practitioners AS practitioners. However, they can - and some do - exchange their designer hat for an 'active citizen' hat, and campaign about public access to public space if they want to, but there are now two roles when once there was was one.

Subsequent to these conclusions, others have been added: 1. The designer's 'idea world' has changed, from the richness of modernist discourse and debates post-war to the conservatism with a small 'c' of today, in which 'context', 'connectivity' and occasionally 'community' guide the designer - in addition to the economic considerations driving their client. What has been lost is the ambition and innovation of architects questioning the nature of the historical city and trying to reinvent it for their time. What has been gained is a greater understanding of the reasons why the historical city evolved the way it did, and the value of traditional public space typologies, not least because the public understands how to use squares and boulevards etc.
2. It is impossible to codify, and by extension guarantee, design quality. in public spaces. Design codes and design guides are as good as the designers, clients and planners using them. They may help avoid the worst excesses of unconsidered design, but will never ensure the best quality. 3. Further to this, 'the best' depends on personal relationships, even chance encounters, which lead to felicitous alliances. Perhaps it always has. The coming-together of people ambitious for what they make is much more important to the production of a successful public space than design 'cookbooks'. Post-war, it meant Local Authorities having or hiring talented architects. Today, it's more a case of enlightened developers hiring talented designers and working closely with planners and councils that have a clear commitment to the public good. 4. Today, the role of the architect in the production of public space is as a collaborator, and one who must champion the public interest, especially if the council in question isn't strong enough to defend that interest. In design terms, this means the basics of designing something difficult to close off from the public, with high quality materials that clean easily and look inviting over time. It also means, however, the architect needs to be concerned with the life of the space after the space is handed over, and advocate a light-touch management. More importantly, however, it means a a closer alliance between architects and Local Authorities. 5. A re-skilling of Local Authorities is emerging in various parts of the UK, with help from existing private firms of architects, landscape architects and planners. This may appear to describe a circle, from post-war cities with their own architect's departments, through the outsourcing of such functions to private firms, back to cities 'doing it for themselves' again. They are indeed starting to do this, but with much more complex public-private arrangements than was the case post-war.
Exploitation Route The most immediate impact of the research in an academic context is the counterbalance it provides to the overwhelming emphasis on the user of public spaces in the social and political sciences and urban studies. This project addresses the producers. The ways in which the researchers have gone about this methodologically are of importance, as the research seeks to provide a '3D' analysis of design objects - political/social/theoretical/ aesthetic. It also tries to create meaningful transferable knowledge out of small sample of case studies, that nevertheless typify certain spatial and social conditions. Future research, by us or by others, could develop either the content or the methodology or both. In terms of content, there has emerged a clear need to investigate:

1. the potential for, and barriers to, a much more integrated education for professionals involved in delivering the built environment;
2. what exactly 'co-design' means within the context of citizen participation in the production of the built environment. It's clear to us that citizen 'co-design' of the project brief is fruitful, and any literal 'co-design' of the actual space itself is pointless.
3. The revaluing of professional expertise is a large and overdue subject in its own right.
4. the role of the planner/Local Authority in the protection of public space, and how it relates to delivery on the ground by designers.
5. the contributing factors to the successful management of privately owned public spaces.

In a non-academic context, the investigations above have direct bearing on the deliberations about the future of built environment professionals, in particular, by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architect's Registration Board (ARB). In addition, there is research to be done on barriers to more meaningful and productive collaborations between professional bodies like the RIBA and the Royal Town Planning Institute on the delivery of complex public-private partnerships for urban developments. Developers and development owners have a stake in getting the management of their public spaces right, and might contribute to academic research on this topic. They would certainly benefit from it.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://psarchitect.org
 
Description Our findings have been used in a minor, but significant way thus far. We have been asked twice now by prominent architectural practitioners to help them build a historical case for their planned interventions in existing public spaces. This is contributing to an understanding of academic research as something that can be accessed in and by the 'real world'. Since then, Hagan participated in a Cabinet Office event: 'Constitutional London: public realm design charette', June 22 and 29, 2017, and an international workshop at Foster and Partners (architects), 'How does the built environment deliver on the Paris Agreement?' March 31, 2017, specifically addressing environmental uses of public space. Hagan has also been invited to assess public realm projects as a 'critical friend' by landscape architects and masterplanners Gillespies.
Sector Creative Economy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Title Design research methodology 
Description FORMAL ANALYSIS One cannot research design and designers without a formal analysis of their work. This analysis is both archival and empirical, and is primarily concerned with design drawings and built designs, although texts by the architects themselves addressing design intentions are also important. The analysis falls into two basic categories, production and reception. PRODUCTION OF DESIGN (archival) 1 spatial analysis of architects' concept drawings of the case studies, and any texts they produced about their original interpretations of the brief. 2 spatial analysis of architects' design development: design iterations in response to various constraints - client views, planning regs, budget restrictions, evolving understanding of the site/brief and of their own initial intentions. RECEPTION OF ARTEFACT (empirical) 1 spatial analysis of public spaces themselves a) in comparison with architects' design intentions (as represented in their drawings/ texts) b) as used by public now (circulation in, through and around at different times of day and year/urban context/programming/popularity/popularity with whom for what etc.) It is a measure of the complexities of empirical research that beginning it requires some idea of the end of it, while at the same time one must affect not to know the end of it. When starting, it was therefore useful to make a distinction between knowing the subject of the research project, and knowing its object. It was clear, even when writing the AHRC funding application, that within the constraints of the subject - the role of the architect in the production of public space during the period of High Modernism and now in London and Sao Paulo - we would be seeing what emerged as the object, with as small and self-aware an a priori agenda as possible. Nevertheless, even such a seemingly simple distinction between knowing one's subject matter and knowing one's purpose required qualification: for a start, what did we mean by 'production'? by 'public space'? by 'High Modernism'? by 'now'? Was an example of public space conceived of in the 1960s but not realised until the 1990s an example of 'then' or 'now'? Was an example designed and built in the 1950s excluded from a 'High Modernism' defined by the emergence of Brutalism in the UK in the 1960s and 70s? Were we looking for stand-alone public spaces designed by architects or building/public space ensembles? FORMS OF DISCOURSE In addition to the social science-dominated academic discourse on public space, there are two fundamental types of architectural discourse. The first is by writers and practitioners within architecture about architecture, particularly the conversation architecture has with its past, and the references practitioners can make in their own work to aspects of that past. A crude example would be architectural post-Modernism as a reaction against the architectural Modernism that preceded it. The second type of architectural discourse views architecture as part of a social and political narrative - a symptom, a projection, an embodiment - and is written by those outside as well as inside architecture. These commentators can be Marxist (eg David Harvey) or neo-Liberal (eg Alice Coleman) or environmental (eg Simon Guy) or critically historical (eg Mark Swenarton), but they are all characterised by the framing of architecture within larger socio-political contexts. In order to fully recognise the role of design in this project, we must look architecture as an autonomous discourse, and in order to fully understand the role of the architect, we must look at it within a much larger socio-political context. We must look, in other words, at the connections between aesthetics and politics. A PARTIALLY REVERSIBLE START Certain decisions had to be made at the time of the application. As doctrinaire architectural Modernism is known, or perhaps caricatured, by the idea of the tabula rasa - the context-less field within which its precious objects are set - it made sense to look at this idea as it was built. This meant addressing the building/public space ensemble. Or at least addressing it in London. There was, it turned out, a great difference between public space design in London and in Sao Paulo. In London, we could find no realised designs for stand-alone squares. In Sao Paulo, however, there are a surprising number. The European tradition of the urban square, having taken root with the Portuguese colonisers, continued to flourish during Brazilian Modernism as it had flourished before it. This continuity was unexpected, but perhaps not surprising, as Sao Paulo did not have the same forced erasure and urgent replacement to contend with that blitzed London did during the same period. So what was a dominant criterion for choosing examples to study in London - the public spaces formed by buildings - was much less so in Sao Paulo. It was clear that a range of examples in Sao Paulo, some stand-alone public spaces, some part of a building/public space ensemble, would have to be chosen. It was also clear that High Modernism in Sao Paulo, if characterised by Brutalism (as in beton brut and a 'truth to materials' and structure), in fact emerged earlier there than it did in London. There are fully fledged Brutalist buildings from the Sao Paulo school in the 1950s, making our 'High Modernist' chronology (the 1960s and 70s) valid only for London, not both cities. Already one can see that differences, and with them a more nuanced understanding, are emerging from observation and information gathering. Although the observation and information gathering were given direction from the subject matter, we had no initial hypothesis to prove or disprove. A version of 'Grounded Theory' (see below), which, as a research method, is of particular usefulness to designers and design historians, who are looking at objects-in-the-world and processes-in-the-world, as well as texts. The subject matter itself arose from a perceived lack of public space discourse from a design and a designer's perspective. Even the spatial aspects of public space have been dominated by geography and social science, disciplines that have made an enormous contribution to understanding the production and evolution of public space, but which aren't equipped to look at spatial formation from the point of view of designing it, and all the social/political/cultural baggage that the act of design brings with it. To this end, a set of categories were established that the final choice of case studies would be required to address: ideology/production/design/reception. Ideology covered both the political position of clients and architects, their conceptions of architectural Modernism and, when they thought about it at all, the nature of the 'public'. Production covered the client/architect relationship, the social, political and physical context, the programme/brief/budget etc. Design covered design intentions and outcomes, re-design or subsequent interventions, typological innovation, materials/environmental conditions/use etc. Reception covered positive and negative reactions to the work, from the architectural establishment and the general public, then and now. Choices of public space case studies thus had to cover public and private sector clients; public and private sector architects; a range of programmes - commercial, civic, retail, arts; a range of scales; spaces successful (popular) then/spaces successful later; designs with realised intentions/designs with thwarted intentions; innovative typologies and more traditional typologies. The choice of categories that preceded the choice of case studies was based on previous knowledge of such comparisons found in histories and theories of architecture. As the project developed, we would test those categories to see if they were both necessary and sufficient. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Too soon to tell. 
 
Title Full case study briefings 
Description A '3D' description of each of the eight public space case studies completed so far, giving the political/social/economic/planning/design information to ensure accurate analysis and cross-comparison. Full downloadable PDFs of each Modernist Case study 'briefing' in London and Sao Paulo - covering production of the public space (planning/procurement/design/history) and reception (specialist and general press comments, attendance by public). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Anecdotal evidence of the briefings being used by teaching staff in architecture and urban design in UK departments of architecture and the built environment. 
URL http://psarchitect.org/projects/public-spaces-and-the-role-of-the-architect/case-studies/
 
Description A Natureza da Cidade: Noite Branca (City Nature: White Night) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public arts workshop in Belo Horizonte sponsored by the state secretary of culture in Minas Gerais. The events took place over the course of one week, with a group of international practitioners participating, and were used as a way of informing permanent artistic interventions within the city in 2015. The exchanges were based on the idea of public space and design in the city, and were hosted at the Palácio das Artes, one of the largest institutions for the arts in the state.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description American Association of Geographers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Paper on 'Architecture and the Imagined Geographies of Post-War London'. Provided one of the project's Research Associates to disseminate the project's cross-disciplinary ideas to an international audience of social scientists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description American Sociological Association Annual Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A conference paper on the effect of certain visual material - designs and imaginary images - on the sociological study of the city.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Association of Architectural Educators Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Session run by one of the project's Research Associates on the production of public space. Allowed our AHRC PhD student to present her project-related ideas, as they are being developed in her thesis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Barbican City Visions (in collaboration with Guardian Cities) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Panel discussion on the legacy of Brazilian Modernism and the practice of architects on the Latin American continent today, following a screening of a film about Oscar Niemeyer, chaired by Noemi Blager, Acting Director of the Architecture Foundation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Brave Old World: Modernist Public Space Design in London and São Paulo 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was an exhibition of part of the project research, researched, organised and produced by the UK project researchers. The exhibition set out four elements of public space design as they were demonstrated by case studies in London and São Paulo: 1. continuity, 2. innovation, 3. memory, and 4. legibility. The exhibition was also part of the London Festival of Architecture and was held at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), London in June/July 2017. The general public - in particular Brazilians - visited the exhibition, as did a large number of architecture professionals, academics and students. The most frequent comment was surprise at the amount of thought and the number of considerations that go into making places they go through every day and take for granted. The RIBA estimates a total of between 4 and 5,000 people saw the exhibition over the month it was on.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://psarchitect.org
 
Description Lina Bo Bardi: Fact or Fiction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The event was an opportunity to launch the research project publicly, and to begin our collaboration with the British Council, one of our Project Partners. An audience that included academics from other universities was able to ask questions and discuss the project.

Academics from other institutions asked to be kept informed of the progress of the research project. The British Council asked Jane Hall to be on the panel for judging the next Lina Bo Bardi Fellow (2014).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation at Escola da Cidade, Sao Paulo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation to fellow architects and academics at the Escola da Cidade, Sao Paulo. Created links with young Brazilian professionals that will be pursued for the exhibition at the Brazilian Embassy in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation of project to Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation of the project's research thus far to the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, to place the project within other urban scale research done in the Faculty - i.e. link it with other research projects at a similar scale - and to place the PI's research interests within those of the new Faculty Professoriate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.westminster.ac.uk/events/public-space-and-the-role-of-the-architect-and-monsoon-assembla...
 
Description Presentation, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, USP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation of the project, with our Brazilian partners, to their post-graduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Public Spaces and the Role of the Designer: A Symposium for Practitioners 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This symposium was specifically organised by the UK project researchers for UK design and planning professionals and property developers, and was held at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in June, 2017. It examined the often ignored importance of design and designers in the production of (civic) public spaces, and unlike many academic conferences, its structure and speakers engaged with the realities of contemporary practice. It was divided into two plenary sessions: Design and Delivery. Session 1: Design - After introductory remarks from Professor Matthew Carmona, UCL, to set the public space scene in the UK, the session was devoted first to a practitioner-led panel, and then panel-and-audience, discussions. It opened up the complexities of public space production in spatial and professional terms, taking advantage of the research project's historical perspective to discuss the evolution of the architect as an urban game-changer.
Session 2 Delivery - This session presented, and then refined through discussion, some models of how public space is being delivered under the current political and planning regime. Panel presentations and discussion identified barriers and opportunities - contractual, technical and professional - in the process of delivering public space . Finally, panel members and delegates considered future roles for the designer at project, practice and professional governance levels. The audience commented particularly on the unusual cross-professional make-up of the panels, and on how much they learned outside their 'silos' as a result.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://psarchitect.org
 
Description Public Spaces reading Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Extended understanding of the discourse around 'public space' across disciplines at the Royal College of Art.

Reading group hasn't ended yet.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description RIBA evening event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) holds open house evenings designed to attract a wider audience than their members to architecture-based events. The research team will be running a multi-media event on June 20th, 2017, centered on some of the research on view at the project exhibition at the RIBA at the same time. The event is also part of the London Festival of Architecture, and will receive wide publicity.

NB THIS ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY HAS YET TO OCCUR.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Society for Latin American Studies Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Conference paper challenging the idea of differences between the 'developed' and the 'developing' world re public space production in the 20th century. A paper from the point of view of the design of public spaces changed or challenged an audience made up primarily of social scientists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Society of Architectural Historians Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A session with international speakers on public space design run by the project's PI at the preeminent conference for architectural history. Exposed the project's ideas on public space to an international audience, and connected it with ECRs from around the world working in the same subject area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description The International Lecture, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A lecture on the research project to Architecture undergraduates. Lively discussion and requests for further information afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Urban design excellence and the public realm 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A joint event organised by the UK project researchers and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), it brought together two disciplines - urban design and planning - to address an area where their work most commonly overlaps: public realm production. Speakers addressed principles of public realm design and procurement, the incorporation of Green Infrastructure into masterplans, and live projects like Barking Riverside and Earls Court. Both the professionals in the audience and the many students benefitted from the cross-professional nature of the presentations. This typifies many of the outputs of this project and is deliberate. One of the chief barriers to the production of a higher quality built environment is the insufficient understanding of one profession by another.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://psarchitect.org
 
Description Year 1 visit of Royal College of Art research team to Sao Paulo/April 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact The Royal College of Art (RCA) and University of Sao Paulo (USP) research teams met for the first time in April 2014. A week of meetings, discussions and site visits allowed us to agree on a short list of Modernist public space case study sites in both London and Sao Paulo, and to better understand the differences between our research methodologies.

Both teams came away from the week together with a much clearer understanding of each other's strengths and knowledge bases, the differences in the ways the teams are funded, their effect on time available for research, and the necessity of evolving a modus operandi that enables us to work successfully within these constraints.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014