Over a period of eight or nine weeks I have collaborated with another discipline and also worked with people I wouldn’t of necessarily of worked with from my own course. For the final part of the unit we were set the task of responding to the brief ‘paper towns.’
Paper towns… “Fictitious entries on maps may be called phantom settlements, trap streets, paper towns, cartographer’s follies, or other names. They are intended to help unmask copyright infringements; if caught, copyright violators wouldn’t be able to explain the entry’s presence on their maps.
The fictional town of Agloe, New York, was invented by map makers, but eventually became identified as a real place by its county administration because a building, the Agloe General Store, was erected at its fictional location. The “town” is featured in the novel Paper Towns by John Green and its film adaptation.”
Collectively, our group of eventually six interior design students which was originally five, we decided to create an extension to the famous Tado Ando Piccadilly Gardens wall. This happens to be his only work in the UK and is something that has much controversy attached with it, many people think it’s ugly including myself and there are plans to demolish the structure. Nevertheless, this did not stop us from researching around the topic and coming up with the theme of transactions. Many transactions take place in Piccadilly Gardens, but the more sinister just happen to be more relevant and are often publicised. Drug dealing and the use of illegal substances is happening all the time in Manchester, but particularly in Piccadilly Gardens. Our idea was to design a safe, hidden place on top of the Tado Ando wall for the participants of the drug trade to use, keeping them off the streets and out of the public eye.
My involvement in the project snowballed towards the end. I designed the logo, which was aptly an X. I was given a source image, and drew it in the back of my sketchbook, took a photograph of it and digitised it by tracing it within Illustrator. The rest of the group liked it, so it stayed. I then got hold of some small drug bags or baggies, and drew the logo onto them, creating this idea of a brand or movement. Something which was used a bit like a paper trail to aid the ‘police investigation.’
The process of designing the proposed area above Tado Ando’s existing structure started with creating what is already there. I used SketchUp to complete this task, then with help from the rest of the group, we had some ideas of what the space would look like. Essentially another story would be added, and a roof attached with partitions to create smaller sections within the large area. My trip to Berlin in 2016 gave me inspiration to not extend the internal walls from floor to ceiling. The Jewish Memorial has an information museum type job underneath the memorial itself, which shows artefacts, text and various information. Some of the internal walls in there are hung from the ceiling, but do not reach the floor, which created an atmosphere very different to anything I have experience before. It was this visit that inspired the design of the space.
For presentation purposes, I branched out a bit, and added an extension to SketchUp which allowed me to render my model in real time. Something which I had not done before, but am well aware is something in industry that is completely normal. This was actually really exciting, seeing the space I designed come to life. Having successfully rendered my model I exported 2D graphics and merged them with a photograph I took myself of Piccadilly gardens.