‘Care’ – Collaborating to create LFA digital experience
Throughout June 2021, Civic Engineers’ London Festival of Architecture interactive digital experience was made available to anyone online to experience on the practice’s website.
Designed to start conversations around the festival theme of ‘care’, Modelling Care generated a visual representation of engineered algorithms, responding to a series of questions to participants on how they feel about their world. The resulting evocative shapes were shared across the social media landscape provoking curiosity and connection.
However the other key creation from the experience was the success of Civic’s youngest team, made up of graduates and one design engineer. Every member involved, who interpreted the brief, managed their component and executed the final result was under the age of 30.
Weaving the project requirements into their working schedules, the team of 8 hailing from the four studios in London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow worked online to manage the technical development via weekly workshops.
The colleagues, some of whom had not yet met in person due to the pandemic, quickly got to grips with individual talents which would add value to the project. Charlotte Taylor wrote a dedicated musical track, created on synth, for the accompanying video instructions. Reverse engineering the usual creation process by making the music central to the mood of the visuals, she had to imagine what the journey through the structure could look like first.
Designing for an online-only user experience challenged the traditional styles of working and modelling for the built environment. The experience required a radical immersion and consideration of a completely different audience.
Project lead, Oscar White, shared, “Learning about communications within the built sector was fascinating. Civic Engineers’ commitment to working with emotional intelligence is epitomised by the way we aimed to communicate our ideas to external audiences. It is certainly something I hope to learn more about in future”.
Working against the clock, members committed to dedicated hours in their own time, “As is the case with every creative project there is always that strive for an unreachable perfection, especially when the task at hand is something that fascinates you”, said Aidan West, Graduate Engineer, who designed the project’s video fly-throughs.
“With a script that effectively bears witness to an infinite number of opportunities and fascinating visuals, sometimes it can be difficult to realise when the blinkers are on. At times it was important to step back as a team, admire each other’s handywork and feel proud of what we had achieved as a collective”
Integrating cross-platform components into webpage design, and developing compatibility and script optimisation was new for the team. Many rounded-off their feedback stating they’d love to work with each other again. That despite being in different parts of the country, they communicated well and realised their ideas in a very creative way.
Already, the graduates are applying some of the scripts developed on live building projects.
The team was made up of Oscar White, Asha Vickers, Aidan West, Charlotte Taylor, Tom Robertson, Nick Healy, Farjad Khan and Heba Tabidi.