KIRKCALDY CASE STUDY SKETCH THUMBNAILS

ideas for Mdes research subject for study
Ideas generated through quick thumbnail sketches

QUICK Bic pens draft sketches as thoughts on paper, to show initial ideas for a potential range of options for the Mdes Research Project. It could be that a combination of elements could work together, or it may be preferable to select just ONE IDEA and run with it!

Initially, I wanted to have a braod overview of how the town of Kirkcaldy operated and the wayfinding survey and exercises were my start point for discovering the town form an new way of thinking. Currently I am looking at the town centre environs with the declining High Street being a particular focus for my research to establish how and  what is require to re-create and enliven the High Street after the retail areas close down. 

signage elementys for waYFINDING
COLOUR RENDERED SKETCH OVERLAY

STRATEGIC DESIGN THINKING

Design thinking is enabling me to review my existing design thinking processes or intuitive methods, that I have developed or used for the last 30 years, working as a designer and design lecturer for interior design.

It has been invigorating to discover that there are so many different views on the design process, design methods and fact-finding and developmental activity, within the MDes and Ethnology students.

Each week we have to produce our own design thinking and views onto pre-determined work sheets, which are uploaded as pdf files onto the e-vision system at dundee uni.  This activity allows access to everyones’ views on strategic design thinking.

Over the last 2 weeks, we have had to create 2 different versions of our interpretations of the DESIGN PROCESS in both 2D but also in a 3D model. It was amazing to see such a fantastic variety of visual information in the  form of drawings and diagrams but also how each student developed their design process ideas as physical models. This was really inspiring to see how this  group of design and ethnology students really thought about the design thinking towards the design process.

My model was really created directly from my 2D diagram, and it was created by using colour photocopies of each element, which was mounted onto basic card, cut into circular rings and then applied onto a simple card cross jointed frame.  Each main stage ring was constructed on a different height level and was identified by different colours. The different level were then linked together by using typed up wording phrases, which identified the feedback and evaluation that should exist between the client and the designer, with direct reference to the project and the design brief.

The photographs will hopefully show the description more clearly than I have explained in my post.

design rings
2D DIAGRAM OF THE DESIGN PROCESS AS I ENVISAGE IT
3D design process model
3D MODEL of the DESIGN PROCESS
view of 3D design process model
PERSPECTIVE VIEW of the 3D MODEL
FINISHED 3D DESIGN PROCESS with ACTIVITY LABELLING

STRATEGIC INFORMATION DESIGN

This module has given me the opportunity to develop research thinking on what my Design Research Project  will focus on.

As I had a very open remit at the beginning for TRANSITIONAL PORTALS in URBAN ENVIRONMENTS, I have now had to think about a more specific approach in order to make my project realistic and meaningful. I needed to develop a much more detailed investigation into how I could integrate with the wide range of STAKEHOLDER  GROUPS.

SIGNAGE OBSERVATIONS

I spent a bit of time looking at Kirkcaldy from the perspective of a new visitor to the town. I drove into the town from different directions to assess how directional signage worked and how road traffic operated in conjunction with the signs.

I recorded video clips from the car as I drove to enable me to review the condition and design of the signage wayfinding and discovered a series of gaps in the links between junctions etc.  In some cases there was a lack of clarity which I felt would confuse  visitors who were attempting to come to Kirkcaldy.

FIFE COUNCIL REGENERATION ENVIRONMENT PROJECTS TEAM

I contacted the department at Fife Council who are involved in a variety of environmental improvements and regeneration initiatives within Kirkcaldy. In discussion via e-mail and telephone conversations with a few individuals, it became clear that there were distinct areas of potential development that I was sure my design research thinking could become involved in.

SIGNAGE  and WAYFINDING was one  element that Fife Council had been developing but that it was currently on hold due to budget restrictions and that there was a current initiative for a Business Improvement District ( BID ). One of the elements of this BID was to look at new street furniture and signage solutions.

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

I created a Powerpoint presentation about my thoughts on Kirkcaldy which included case study images from a variety of different towns and cities as a prompt for discussion with stakeholders. I made an informal presentation to Gill Baldwin from the  Fife Council Regeneration Team at Kirkcaldy Town House on Thursday 1 April 2010.

The presentation was well received and feedback during a discussion afterwards highlighted a few possibilities for  potential of my involvement in  Working Group Forums  on the future development of the town esplanade and  promenade.  I was also given contact names of other relevant contacts within Fife Council related to the BID project.

Unfortunately, to date, no further  contacts have been able to meet with me to discuss how I can get involved. I will now have to e-mail the contacts to establish a more productive relationship with them. Without these contacts, my Design Research Project will not come to fruition.

CASE STUDY RESEARCH

Following the meeting with the Regeneration Environment contact, I did some investigation into other coastal towns in the UK who were developing regeneration projects and discovered 2 towns who were also in TRANSITION.

CLACTON-ON SEA  in Suffolk

RHYL in Wales

Both these towns have seafronts and esplanade /promenades and there are links in this page regarding their developments.

OTHER RESEARCH STUDIES

I have in the past been to a variety of towns and cities that have made improvements to the ambience and enhancements of their urban context.

BIRMINGHAM is a good example of re-capturing the cityscape for the population

GREENOCK has a RIVER INVERCLYDE INITIATIVE

BORDEAUX in FRANCE has a fantastic interactive social space on its riverfront which is used for all kinds of events and it is a promenade  with a high standard of installations such as lighting, and surface finishes.

KIRKCALDY TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT

This organisation are part of the local authority and are really the major STAKEHOLDER for my Research project.

However, at present, they are heavily involved with 2 major developments.

1    BID PROJECT – Business Improvement District

2   MERCAT SHOPPING CENTRE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL

Presentation – 100120

The new proposals for a major expansion and enhancement of the main shopping mall in Kirkcaldy is currently in for PLANNING APPROVAL, but there are no guarantees that this most up to date scheme design by ONE ARCHIECTURE and  the developer  will gain the necessary approvals to proceed.

However, these proposed developments may have a major impact on what i am developing for my MDes studies.

This is the most up to date post on my current position with my studies.