Our year at Planit-IE
Working at Planit-IE during our year out in practice has been an invaluable experience before returning to continue our studies at the University of Sheffield. Not only has it allowed us to develop creatively in a sociable working environment, but has given us the opportunity to expand our skills and knowledge in all areas of the design process.
We have all enjoyed working collaboratively with colleagues across different internal disciplines and on projects of varying scale, from residential masterplanning to skate parks.
A few highlights of my experience at Planit-IE have to be working on a skate park design in collaboration with a local artist and skate park consultant, and Manchester’s Albert Square. Projects such as Brunswick Park and Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre have improved my technical drawing skills, as well as my graphical communication. However, the most memorable time from my first experience in practice has been to redesign an arrival courtyard for the Women’s Refuge Centre – a safe space for vulnerable women in need of physical and psychological healing. The feedback after construction was overwhelming. It was extremely fulfilling to hear my design has had a “very tangible impact on the community”.
Since starting my year out at Planit-IE I have worked on the Westside Link project in Wolverhampton, putting forward a large-scale strategic vision for the future of the city centre. Involved from the beginning, I have been able to assist throughout different levels of the design process, which ultimately led to a report which recorded the design concepts to be developed as detailed designs. During the process I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Urban Designers, as it gave me a better understanding of the process of shaping the physical setting for city life.
Working on additional projects of different scales and stages of the planning process has been extremely helpful and I now have a much better understanding of the various stages of the design process. This includes a more detailed knowledge of analysis, assessment and concept development. We all agree that Planit-IE has been great place to work and has cemented our aspiration to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture.
I have worked on a broad range of projects whilst on my year out at Planit. The scheme that stood out for me was working alongside Kate to produce the vision document for Northern Roots in Oldham. The proposal will act as a large-scale demonstrator of how the natural environment can be harnessed and enhanced to be productive, whilst helping to improve local economic and social outcomes in Manchester.
As soon as I began at Planit-IE I was lucky enough to be invited to attend my team’s study trip to Barcelona. It was an amazing opportunity to visit a favourite city of mine but this time with a keen eye trained on the landscape and the public realm. I had the chance to really get to know my team in a relaxed manner, as well as learning about landscape architecture in a different context. Visiting Park Güell, eating amazing tapas and cycling along the seafront were definite highlights.
Written by Kelci Vittachi, Sarah Brooks and Mauro Diggle-Messina, Landscape Year Out Students.