Our Year Out at Planit-IE

We kicked off our year in practice by jetting off to Copenhagen, immersed within the Planit family from the get-go. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to really get to know our colleagues from all studios. We spent two days on bikes visiting some of Copenhagen’s great public realm and had a lot of fun along the way.

Ash – Working alongside some truly inspiring thinkers at Planit-IE has really shaped the way I will approach all aspects of design upon my return to the University of Sheffield. From photoshop to Vectorworks, I have learnt to communicate a design throughout the full lifecycle of the project. Planit has given me the opportunity to see my designs coming to life, particularly the Bridgefield Street Pocket Park. The process of making site visits on multiple projects has really cemented my understanding of the construction process and how the devil really is in the detail!

The excitement and creativity is evident in the way that all teams talk about their projects, and the pride they have in the delivery has been infectious. Working on schemes of all shapes and sizes, including large, nationally important projects such as Albert Square and the Manchester Metropolitan University Masterplan, seems to be the norm at Planit!

Christina – During my Year Out at Planit I’ve had the chance to work across a broad variety of small- and large-scale projects, ranging from private residential gardens to The Central Docks in Liverpool. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on a wide-range of different projects because it has widened my professional experience and kept each day new and interesting.

One of my favourite projects was Moneystone Quarry in Stoke on Trent. It is being transformed into a leisure park, with a landscape to enrich the health and well-being of visitors. I worked on the hardworks and softworks details across the entire site, selecting plant species suitable for the challenging former Quarry site conditions.

Recently I attended a primary school in North Manchester where I assisted in planting herbs, vegetables, fruit and bedding plants in raised beds, and spoke to the students about my degree and passion for landscape architecture. It was a unique opportunity to engage with younger generations and inspire them to utilise their outdoor space. I also enjoyed getting hands on and seeing the children developing a keener interest in nature and the outdoor world.

I’ve also really enjoyed the social life here at Planit-IE, such as Friday drinks. I think this is a rarity in many practices and it’s a great chance to mix with the rest of the Landscape Architects, Urban Designers and Graphics team who work on the floor below us.

Emma – From concept to construction, I have been able to get a real taste for all aspects of studio life, working on projects and schemes that will actually be built and enjoyed by the public! From Rise and Shine every Wednesday, to the Friday morning croissant run, or the excitement of working on a bid, every week has taught me something new. It is fantastic to be in an environment where everyone enjoys coming into work (most days!) and I can’t thank my colleagues enough for shaping my experience and making my time at Planit so enjoyable.

During my time here I have been involved in the Circle Square project, a former BBC site in Manchester. This large project is in its construction stage, allowing me to develop my knowledge of levels and construction details. I now have a much greater understanding of what is required in a design to really make it function, something that was definitely lacking from my skill set prior to my time at Planit.

Planit is a fantastic place to learn, we’ve asked a lot of questions and been offered help and advice no matter how silly our queries must have seemed. Planit has set the bar extraordinarily high for any future employer and we’ve enjoyed the full spectrum of experiences, both in and out of the studio. We’ll be sad to go but will never forget the most amazing 11 months we’ve had. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Written by Ashleigh Davis, Christina Goodband and Emma Gray, Year Out Landscape Students