September 22, 2017

On Your Radar: Manipulating our built environment

Feeling congested in busy metropolitan cities is a problem experienced by many of us on a daily basis. As London Design Festival opens its doors for Londoners to explore the work of innovative designers experimenting with sustainability and space, at On Your Radar we’re looking at ingenious ways creatives are adapting our built environment, to construct new spaces for people to experience or use.

CANNES Design Grand Prix Winner: “The Unusual Football Field” by CJ Worx for AP Thailand

Bangkok is notorious for its built environment and busy streets, packed with street vendors. Football is the most popular sport in Thailand after Mai Tai boxing, so how do you develop grass roots football in an urban landscape with no fields to play on?

The answer – create an entirely new way of playing football. For this powerful campaign, AP Thailand turned small, unused areas of the city into a series of irregularly-shaped football pitches.

The designer’s vision saw past the wasted space, showing that designing outside boundaries can help harness creativity, and in this instance – bring communities together.

Watch the video here:

An Olympics built for Landmarks:

What if the Olympics were conducted around a city’s most iconic landmarks, rather than being dictated by the potential practicality of a location?

Typically viewed as a bohemian, artistic city, Paris is one of the more suitable locations in which to test out a postcard-friendly backdrop to the Games – something that architects Populous and engineers Egis have planned for the French capital at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Sports fans will be watching beach volleyball under the Eiffel Tower according to the plan, which will see Parisian monuments transformed into sports venues, adapted to the requirements of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The masterplan for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will make use of a number of existing buildings in the city, and see temporary venues installed in front of some of the capital’s most famous attractions. The Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and the River Seine will all become backdrops for events.

If different sports and disciplines can function in densely populated areas of a historic city such as Paris, then hopefully we can expect picturesque Games in cities across the world in the future – Olympic badminton under Big Ben, anyone?

Read more about it here:

Re-imagining our abandoned London Tunnels

Most of us head underground every day, using tunnels packed with trains to get around our busy city, but did you know that London has a mass network of abandoned tunnels under our feet too?

The next time you travel on one of London’s multi-coloured lines, likely squashed up next to someone’s armpit, just think how much better for the environment it would be if we could cycle and walk through this incredible network instead. No congestion, stuffy journeys – and the freedom to get home all night without having to worry about signal failure or being shoved into someone’s rucksack.

This healthy utopian travel connection solution has been imagined by architecture firm Gensler, who have proposed to repurpose London’s disused tube tunnels to create a subterranean network of pathways that not only offer a fuel-free commute, but even generate electricity as people walk and cycle through them.

The proposal – named the London Underline, in a kind of mash-up between the London Underground rail network and New York’s High Line park – suggests that the city’s disused tunnels could provide the answer to overcrowding on other transport routes.

This creative approach to using space could become a reality in the near future, as our population continues to grow.

Watch it come to life here:

Here at Unity we’ve taken this creative approach to our office space, which was once a motorbike showroom, and now houses our upstairs office ‘shop’, as well as a multi-purpose basement area (which itself is an incarnation of an art gallery). This is an adaptable, programmable space which serves as a blank canvas for whatever we or our clients need. It’s played host to live acoustic music sessions, industry talks, photo shoots, filming – and importantly, team breakfasts. Check it out here