As part of a larger project to design contemporary recreational facilities for Temple Cowley, Oxford, .year one students at Oxford Brookes School of Architecture ran a public consultation event at Templars Square Shopping Centre, Temple Cowley.
Extract from project brief “How do we spend our free time these days? Why do we say we spend it if it is supposed to be free? Free time can be productive but it isn’t paid work. With technology blurring the boundaries of time and place between work and home, have we been robbed of our free time? At a time of high unemployment, does too much free time become a burden? What has happened to the infrastructure in Cowley that was also a public expression of the recreational activities and collective endeavour of the area?”
To prepare for the public consultation event, students made a 1:250 model of the Cowley area. During the event they helped interested members of the public to mark on the model the places where they spend their free time and talked to them about what recreational activities they get involved with in the area. After the consultation event, the data that had been gathered was analysed. The model was brought back to the studio and was used as a record of recreational patterns in the area and to test architectural proposal models in context.