This Friday on September 20, three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit, people around the world will join forces at the Global #ClimateStrike to confront the climate crisis. Studio GL supports the global climate strike and will be joining the march held in Sydney at The Domain from 12-2pm.
Australia is experiencing climate crisis in its various forms including drought, flooding, bushfires, severe cyclones, and heatwaves. Thousands of people are planning to take time off school and work to band together in solidarity for everyone who is affected and everyone who will be impacted if we don’t act.
For more information click here and to join the strike click here
A more unusual project, Studio GL were engaged by Molino Stewart to prepare photomontages in support of a Visual Impact Assessment for a proposed ‘Animatronic Dinosaur’ Exhibition at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains. The main aim was to ensure that proposed exhibition pieces would not compromise or impact on the heritage value of the area.
Studio GL worked with Molino Stewart to determine key vantage points and developed a technique that ensured the ‘dinosaur’ was carefully placed in its location with photomontages identifying the accurate height and orientation, and therefore visibility from public vantage points around the escarpment and along the popular Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
The exhibition titled Dinosaur Valley took place as a part of Scenic World experiences during Summer 2018-19, taking visitors on a journey through time to experience dinosaurs in their natural environment.
Studio GL has been engaged by Kiama Council to undertake a Kiama Town Centre study. The study will assist with Council’s planning and development work and to inform the direction of future strategic planning studies and policies.
An important part of the study was conducting stakeholder and community engagement activities, which focused on understanding what people like, what they consider as challenges, what their ideas for improvements are, and changes they would like to see in the town centre.
Our team at Studio GL are firm believers that the community are experts on their local area, its unique characteristics and quirks and what it’s like to live there. In line with our expectations from this community of engaged and concerned citizens, pouring rain and inclement weather did not deter the community from attending the drop in engagement event and providing their input.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment hosted a one-day symposium to discuss key themes around local character. Diana Griffiths from Studio GL presented a framework to help define the physical components of local character. Over the years Studio GL have developed a Character Assessment Tool (CAT) to understand the role of the key contributors in shaping the character of a place. This tool serves as a guide for designers, planners, architects and community members to better identify what contributes to the physical elements of local character.
“Successful places are more than just the physical bones of a place. They are a reflection of an engaged and empowered community.”
The theme for the June 2018 issue of the New Planner, a magazine of the NSW Division of the Planning Institute of Australia, guest edited by Philip Graus focused on Engaging the Community in City Shaping.Diana Griffiths from Studio GL wrote an article, ‘Community Engagement: Empowering Local Experts’, which focused on the need and methods for ongoing community engagement, in order to encourage informed debate around the scale and shape of possibilities for the future of our cities and towns.
The article recommends the use of various engagement strategies including online engagement tools and apps that allow people to participate in their own time, as well as intimate one-on-one or small group conversations that would encourage participation from those who might not feel comfortable participating in large group events.
Diana recommends using a threefold strategy inspired by Margie Warrell’s workplace management approach of Connect, Inspire and Embolden, to improve community engagement across NSW.
The NSW Chapter of Learning Environments Australasia has announced that they will be running a grants program this year, in support of their 2018 theme of Real People, Problems, Responses.
Called Small Numbers, Big Thinking, the Grant will be awarded to two Learning Environments located in NSW, to enable them to undertake a project that will develop and enhance a teaching and learning area. Submissions are due by 30 March 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Felicity Lewis and Diana Griffiths co-authored an article for the December 2017 issue of the New Planner, a magazine of the NSW Division of the Planning Institute of Australia which provides a forum for news and opinion and focuses on environmental, town and regional planning issues. The article, entitled “High rise schools: Putting students first” considered the Sydney-centric phenomenon of “high rise” schools, where escalating land costs are forcing the consolidation of schools within their current boundaries to meet the rapidly growing needs of communities undergoing urban renewal.
The article recommended a focus on providing choice, so that students can access learning in a manner that is suited to their needs, and on flexibility and resilience so that the inevitable changes that will be required during the life of school facilities can be accommodated into the future.
Over the last nine months Studio GL has been running interactive training workshops in association with PIA NSW and various local councils, on how to assess context and neighbourhood character. The course clarifies the concept of “neighbourhood character” and “desired future character” and provides a simple framework by which planners can identify and analyze these issues.
The workshop helps participants to learn how to ‘read’ the context and neighbourhood character and appreciate the elements that can be used to ‘respond’ to a specific context. It focuses on defining what context and neighbourhood character means, using photographs to show the elements that contribute to different neighbourhood characters. An interactive case study is also used to engage participants and encourage debate.