Lendlease, the developers behind Elephant and Castle’s new Elephant Park, commissioned a team of 15 students and graduates for a design consultation. The project involved students working with local residents, exploring ways to increase public awareness, access and use of the park for various community groups. The insights will inform Lendlease’s planning submission for the phase II of the Park's development.
Students and graduates from LCC's Design School applied social design research methodologies and developed workshops and small-scale installations to test ideas for engagement. Their findings, grouped under under themes such as Play, Way-finding, Socialising and Relaxing, were sets of social design solutions, co-created with local groups, to welcome and provide ownership to communities who are less engaged with Elephant Park.
These included ideas and designs for an open-air lecture theatre and mobile library, an online events booking system to encourage residents to propose their own events, a tree house for parents and children, interactive benches that encourage socialising, and a well-being programme for elders to keep active and reduce isolation.
Joshua Van Haaren, Community Engagement Officer at Elephant Park, said that “the findings were very helpful and we were impressed with the students’ attention to detail and enthusiasm. The presentations were excellent, the students were very confident, and the outputs were very high quality, imaginative and diverse. This is a really great opportunity to use this project as a start point to push the boundaries of how we approach our consultation and design processes, both for this specific consultation and the work we are doing around engagement and place-making in the long term."
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