Chesterton students flex design skills in innovative ‘active landscape’ workshop

Last Friday (May 1st) public artist Zoe Chamberlain worked with students at Chesterton Community College to create ideas for an active landscape on new housing development, Mitchams Park, to be built on the former site of Cambridge City football club.

Part of the exciting Cambridge KickstART project, the workshop got secondary school students exploring their skills in art, design and sport to create their own artistic compositions of active landscapes. The challenge involved creating surroundings that encourage people to be active and engage with their environment through play-based activities and exercise.

After creating designs in the classroom, the students got busy in the playground, using templates, stencils and chalk-spray to mark out their designs in real size on the ground to see if they would work in reality.

Zoe explains: “The workshop was about creating an engaging, active environment, and keeping the spirit of the former Cambridge City football ground alive in the old grounds. Students interested in design, art and architecture got to mix up their skills and experiment with a really innovative concept, which could play a bigger role in residential development in the future.”

The workshop was run in collaboration with Cambridge University researchers at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR).

Katie Morton, Researcher at CEDAR, adds: “CEDAR’s physical activity research is all about finding out how our world can help people sit less and move more. The KickstART project was a fantastic opportunity for scientists and artists to work together to help design active environments that can improve health and wellbeing. I am sure the students learned how to apply public health perspectives to their designs, to create landscapes that not only look great, but might also make our lives happier and healthier”.

The students’ plans will be used to inform Zoe’s own designs when working with professional landscape architects on the active landscape at Mitchams Park, being constructed by award-winning house builders Crest Nicholson.

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