Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Second Workshop for the Seeing Urban Food Futures Project

After the success of the initial workshop for the Seeing Urban Food Futures project, a second workshop took place on May 25th to look at the value virtual reality may have in this type of project.  The initial workshop involved the edible walk lead by Dr. Mikey Tomkins which highlighted potential areas for food production and agriculture in central Brighton. These workshops are intended to encourage participants to conceptualise and instigate conversation about the possibilities for a Brighton CPUL.

Graduates Simon Boseley and Alex Judd  of the School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering of Brighton University along with Dr Poorang Piroozfar  and Fadi Castronovo of the University of Brighton, have developed the area of Brighthelm Gardens as a 3D model inside a virtual reality system. Brighthelm Gardens is a small park located in central Brighton and has been identified as an area with potential to be a food productive space. The system they are developing allows a user to see Brighthelm Gardens as a ‘blank canvas’ area in which they can incorporate features to virtually design a productive urban space. Features such as planting beds, beehives and polytunnels can be selected and placed in order to quickly envision the space with different layouts.

Feedback about the virtual model used included the desirability of offering more types of objects for placement, such as seating areas. The importance of having a function in which design iterations can be captured was highlighted, for viewing and comparison at a later date. Another suggestion was for the inclusion of a solar axis to allow users to see where the sun falls at different times of the day. A final point was to offer users more context about the space, as the current system only allows a user to see the view in front of them, with no information about the surrounding areas. The team plan a third workshop in 2 months in which time they will continue to develop the system and work with the feedback they have been provided from this workshop.


For information on the Seeing Urban Food Futures Brighton edible walk see our news post.

For information on the Brighton CPUL project see our related design projects post.

Image: The workshops are intended to stimulate conceptualisation and conversation around possibilities for a Brighton CPUL. (source: Mikey Tomkins 2022)

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Jasmine Cook • 30th May 2022

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