Site Sense

Led by Isabel Deakin, in collaboration with Jo Crotch

Who? For architectural educators and students

Where? Envisioning Architecture: Space/ Time/ Meaning,  AEAE 13 conference,  Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

What? Presentation of a paper which explores the role of the site survey and reports on two diverse survey techniques and reflects on how the merging of these could form the development of a multi-dimensional methodology, which sutdent can draw upon to aid understanding and registration of place exploring the poetic, prosaic and the technics of the site.

When?  June 2018

Through two alternative methods of surveying a site we aimed to analyse and understand how students engage with sites. The intention is to help a student find a methodology to allow them to have a greater understanding of their context. Our own observations, firstly as students of architecture, are the ‘site analysis’ and what that meant in terms of acitivity was never made explicit to us. It was intuitive learnin, which never received the same level of critique as the outcomes that were produced as a result. And now, secondly as architectural educators, we are critical of the learning and teaching around this vital part of the process, observing that it is generally unstructured and often inadequate. The paper delivered explored the development of a proposed methodology, which aims to support new students of architecture through the elusive site survey and equip them with a range of tools to observe, record, register and communicate the multi layers of factual and experiential information gathered through the process. “Observation is a dying art”.