COLLABORATOR: Apec Architects
STUDENT GROUP: BA (Hons) Architecture, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture, MArch Architecture
PROJECT TYPE: consultation, community engagement
APEC Architects: “Since 1969, we have evolved an immersive and user-focused approach to design, and discovered ways to engage meaningfully with people who otherwise have little influence. With innovative and pragmatic design processes, we create uplifting places for people.”
APEC is a small architectural practice and a leading exponents of community-led projects in the West Midlands, collaborating as facilitators with ex-offenders, vulnerable women, ‘re-users’, volunteers, craftspeople and other experts to bring existing spaces back to life, as well as designing new spaces together.
The practice has been documenting their approach to collaborative processes for several years. These records exist as comprehensive notes of evolving methods, strategies and tactics. Students reviewed a selection of these records as a starting point to examine the role of the architect as facilitator and the use of drawings, diagrams, models and conversations in understanding users and their contexts.
Working in APEC’s studio, the research was then applied to public consultation meetings for a proposal at High Meadow School, Coleshill. A short publication was produced documenting findings and reflecting on the challenges of politically charged public projects.