The third ediculture workshop was all about design.
“Imagination can be enhanced by limitation”
According to the edible culture year.,the theme of deisgn is located in the South - the point that peaks around summer solstice and the balance between day and night, light and dark. This direction connects with the theme of focus and commitment.
Site survey and design
The learning outcome of the session was to both build understanding of factors to consider when surveying and designing a site as well as initiating a design process.
We began the day with a walk around the Global Gardens site and wider Flaxland allotment area and observed different ways of designing an allotment plot. Some of the allotment plots were very meticulously laid out with clearly defined pathways and beds. Other plots had a less clear distinction between pathways and beds and a much clearer focus on production, with pathways in some cases being moveable in the form of wooden planks to maximise growing space. There were other plots that appeared much more focussed on aesthetics and the incorporation of flowers and creative structures so that it was an enjoyable space to spend time in.
After our observations around the site, we divided into three groups and worked on a site plan and design for either the orchard, wildlife area and herb area. Stephen showed us a simple way of measuring a space using hazel metre sticks and each group made a rough scale drawing.
Once we had the site map, the group were encouraged to conduct a site survey and build some of the key elements on to the site map. Key things to include for the site survey include: aspect (which takes into account slopes, prevailing winds, presence of shelter belts), access (which takes into account existing paths, roads), infrastructure (which takes into account water and energy services and any facilities) as well as considering soil fertility.
Following on from this, the next step was to step into the design phase. This is the exciting bit where we could work together to imagine what the areas could become. At the end of the day, the groups shared their ideas...
Global Gardens Designs
The orchard group made some really interesting suggestions: including more focus on the human dimensions via addition of a seating area with some benches and disabled access area as well as the addition of a pond.
The wildlife area/outdoor play area encouraged more surveying of existing wildlife identification and monitoring and suggested the potential integration of mushroom cultivation into the area.
The herb patch group created a very detailed site map of the different herbs and focussed about thinking more about signs for the herbs and uses of the herbs including in different languages.
To conclude, Stephen shared with us a useful way of remembering deisgn principles.
With huge thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales for making this workshop possible.