Design challenge and detailed place process

By the end of the studio, students were tasked with delivering a set of designs and vision for the revitalisation of Ellen Grove shopping centre and its precinct as informed by the community engagement event with the local community.

As this was a live project working in the most disadvantaged socio-economic suburb in south east Queensland, students were required to engage the local community in a way that was respectful, meaningful and authentic. Rather than take a traditional expert design approach to understand the site, the students adopted a place-based process of facilitated co-design. Thoughts and ideas generated from the engagement day were presented back to the community for feedback and validation to ensure this is what the community would like to see happen.

The community engagement event was held on the 11th of August, 2018 and it ran for 5 hrs with guidance and support from Dr Laurel Johnson and industry partner John Mongard. The event provided crucial place knowledge for students, to learn from community and listen to their wishes and desires.

Specifically, the engagement event addressed 4 key questions:

  • If there was one thing that we could do in this centre, what would it be?
  • What things would you like to have or really need, that are not in the centre?
  • If you thought big (say in ten years) what do you imagine the centre could be like?
  • What other ideas do you have to make this place great?
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