This is a project which I took part in at sustrans London during my 2 months internship there as a graphic designer. As the design construction was to be initiated a year later from when I was at the office, I took on the role of design researcher/analyser and communication tools designer to build a foundation for the design construction.
sustrans is a coined word, made from Sustainable + Transportation, and the company is a voluntary sector which has its headquarters in Bristol. SUSTRANS organise their researches, collaborations, events and designs based on their theme of ‘transportation’ within daily lives.
It is a notably well known fact that the air pollution within the UK is spreading at an alarming rate due to transportation using various vehicles *1. sustrans was erected in order to tackle this problem using the power of creativity rather than law or traffic maintenances. Their main clients are councils or transportation companies such as TFL (Transport For London). Now in 2015, there are more than 4000 people working as volunteers in different branches within the UK*2.
DIY School is one of the main programs organised by SUSTRANS. The program seeks to find the most efficient method(s) to clean the streets of certain areas in the UK by working together with the local communities. In order to do this, the problems must be visualised first, and then the project will proceed after getting feedbacks from the citizens on the suggested designs, field researches or workshops.
About DIY School
About New Park Road
This project was carried out together with Richard Atkins primary school in Brixton (Lambeth Council), South London. New Park Road is the road in front of the school, where many vehicles coming from the main road travel at very high speed to cut time. In the past two years, two students have been involved in a road accident in front of the school. Also, a severe level of air pollution has been measured on the main road (A23•Brixton Hill) nearby. *3 Facing these issues, Lambeth Council, which the school is under jurisdiction of, requested for solutions in order to solve the problems.
As mentioned above, my personal roles were to research, analyse, design some communication tools and organise workshops in this project. Once or twice a week, I brought different tools each time to the school at different times of the days to take surveys from the parents or to organise workshops so that we could visualise the problems – in which many of them shared similar awareness for the raised issues. Within the workshops, we also shared information as well as to visualise them, and clarified ‘what we must do, for what reason’.
Throughout this project, I believe that many people have thought deeper about the issues raised by local transportations and discussed the solutions for these problems. Within the people’s thoughts, there were objections to change or reform the existing habits or mechanisms, which created a place for debating. Rather than each of the thoughts creating an immediate solution for the issues, the whole process of discussing allowed the awareness of the drivers or the local citisens to be aimed towards the problems within the area. By involving and thinking together with the local residents, who are the actual witnesses of the problems, in the design construction process, one may suggest that our awareness will travel towards wider directions, allowing for a better, safer world for everyone to live in. This project is aimed to be an example, to start the engine of these connections between people.