To celebrate the welcome of both undergraduate and postgraduate students of Architecture, Planning and Landscape courses, Newcastle University gave students a chance to celebrate the Design Festival by running a series of week-long projects during the Charrette week. There was an exhibition and celebration on the last day of the week. Charrette week provided a good chance to practice communication skills and experience team work. During the Charrette week of this year, the project that I did was about the wall. Our themes are FLUX, FLEX and FLUFF. Within these themes, we explored what a wall means.
On the first day, we were asked to draw what first came into our head when we think of a new Hadrian’s wall in 30 minutes and represented our drawing via the medium of collage on A3 paper per group including maximum 100 words of explanatory text. Then in the newly formed groups, we were asked to come up with our wall philosophy such as is it inclusive or exclusive, or is it a statement. On the second day, with the questions that what could our wall be and how can we finish it off, we visited Hoults Yard, a local creative area to see how ordinary walls can be transformed into extraordinary icons. The owner of the gallery Danny also gave us a talk about his “White Walls” project.
When we came back from the visit, the rest of the week was to design and build our own wall. At first, we made a 1:10 scale model to show the ideas of my group. We wanted to build a wall that can provide an infrastructure for the passengers to have a rest, to drink a cup of coffee or to have a chat there. So we built a wall which can be folded and used as a table. We spent most of time of day four and day five in the workshop to build sections of the wall.
Each wall has two sides. In the design of our group, the wall has negative side and positive side. On the welcome side, we used light color which gave a happy mood to the people. On the other side, we used dark color.
The wall can be rotated. We showed the dark side of the wall to the visitors and asked them to rotate the wall to another side with light color. It has a meaning that we hope everybody can have a good mood and remove the bad mood.
On the Friday, after all the groups have finished build their walls, we were asked to move all the walls out and put them into lines. The wall of every group was amazing. It was a great chance to see the work by others. The walls became colorful views of the university.
Overall charrette week gave me a different experience. It was interesting to work with others from different models and different stages. We could learn a lot from each other. It was also a good chance to learn team work.