8th July 2022

Sketchy City at Festival of Place 2022


One of our favourite times of the year, this week Festival of Place was back as our team headed to Wembley’s BoxPark to address some of the biggest challenges facing our industry.

Across three stages, four walking tours and three workshops, professionals from across the built environment came together to unpick what makes a place thrive and hear from experts and innovators tackling the major issues facing urban development. Our team were excited once again to be a part of the exciting programme, as we hosted our own interactive workshop session.

Partnering with Impact on Urban Health, our session ‘Sketchy City – Creative Design for Urban Health’ saw us break up attendees into sub- groups, where they each used sketching and lively discussions to design their own communities. Creating places that encouraged less travel and increased access to local amenities, some of the incredible creations threw up many thought-provoking ideas that put public health and a focus on maintaining healthy lifestyles at the forefront of the designs.

With all sketching abilities welcome, ideas ranged from the brilliantly bonkers ‘shame-machine’ (that called-out pollution levels in real time) to play-on-the-way creations to get kids traveling actively, green lung corridors, SuDS and community green spaces for farmyard animals. Hosted by our Co-Founding Director, Stephen O’Malley, attendees shared their sketches with the room and discussed the feasibility and purpose behind their ideas.

Our Leeds Director, Leah Stuart, also moderated a great session earlier in the morning, ‘Designing with empathy and centering care’  that approached the question, what if we developed our places with empathy in mind? Another fantastic talk that reflected the variety and commitment to create real change and impact across our cities and communities.

It was great to have many of our team in attendance with us, as they headed to some of the sessions and workshops themselves, and even found time for some axe-throwing…apparently one of the UK’s newest sporting activities! Another inspiring Festival of Place that again delivered big ideas, challenged our ways of thinking and left us all feeling proud to be a part of a wonderful community of place makers who are committed to benefiting our planet and its people.

Sketchy City at Festival of Place 2022