A Sense of Place 2004

A Sense of Place 2004 Conference Report

43 pages, 25 colour illustrations.

Price: £10.00 for the PDF. Emailed to you (2Mb File).

A sense of place can be what makes somewhere special and different or what makes it routine and relaxing. It doesn’t have to be somewhere that creates happiness nor does it have to be spectacularly life changing, but some outdoor spaces just have the sensory necessities that together create something significant, something unique: a sense of belonging, of interest, of place.

If this is such a fundamental issue, how has it come to be so neglected in the design of public space? How have we ended up with squares, parks and plazas that offer no sense of anything other than an urge to leave? We need more inspiration in design, more courage in recognising that people’s connections with place are emotional, and inherently sensual. Our obsession with the visual is at risk of obscuring some of the most powerful and memorable sensory experiences that we can have.

This publication, based on conference proceedings from an international event in Cornwall and Devon, draws on excellent examples developed by people around the world, all working to make sense of place a reality. The aim is to show how an understanding of these different qualities can help to create rich, inclusive and appealing environments.

Contributors include:

  • Peter Thoday, past President of the Institute of Horticulture and Senior Lecturer at Bath University.
  • David Kamp, Founding Principal of Dirtworks PC New York – with over 25 years landscape architecture experience, including the design of Australia’s New Parliament House and projects in the US, Europe, and the Caribbean.
  • Sue Hill, Artistic Director for Eden Project - a sculptor and theatre maker who has taken her landscape theatre work around the world.
  • Rona Weekes, Quest International - responsible for the Holistic Sensory Approach programme for this global company, renowned for their work on fragrances and other innovative sensory products.
  • Julia Cassim, Research Co-ordinator at the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Royal College of Art – her knowledge of inclusive design has taken her from Europe to Japan and back again.
  • Su Thompson, Plymouth City Council – part of the development team, and spokesperson on ‘Inclusive play for all’ strategies in Plymouth, recognised by the ODPM as a place of best practice in terms of play areas, specifically in Central Park.
  • Hazel Stuteley OBE, National Health Service – a health visitor in South West Cornwall who was one of the main forces behind the community regeneration of the Falmouth Beacon Estate, to international acclaim.
  • Peter Ford, Plymouth City Council – part of the team who are taking forward David Mackay’s vision for the regeneration of Plymouth City. David Mackay, Landscape Architect, is famous for his work in the Olympic Village in Barcelona.
  • Richard Scott, Landlife – a specialist in creative conservation and key member of the pioneering wildflower charity working mainly in urban landscapes to bring nature and people together.
  • Donald Boddy, Ecopartnerships - his current work on memorial spaces ranges from the award winning West Pennine Remembrance Park, to the burial landscapes in Zambia.

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