On Friday, our urban design studio gave a presentation entitled ‘The urban mix: constituent ingredients for successful places’, covering urban design’s role as the glue that binds the various disciplines involved in creating successful places. It’s for this reason that our team comes from diverse backgrounds, including planners, architects and landscape architects, who have experience of working within public and private sectors alike, or even within education and research institutions.
Urban design is the design of regions, cities, towns, streets and spaces, and as such, the presentation illustrated the range of scales we’ve been involved in, from strategic regional projects like the Oxford to Cambridge Corridor, to smaller infill sites such as one for nine houses and a community centre in Brentwood (which, although small in scale, is probably just as important to local residents). In addition to working closely with each of the other studios across the Practice, we've also worked on town centre urban strategies, local design guides, conceptual local strategies and estate regeneration within a variety of contexts.
Whilst it’s important the team is composed of designers from a range of backgrounds, what’s more important is a shared understanding that regardless of scale, all projects should first consider life and people, then spaces and then buildings. The other way around never works.