Helena is a Post Graduate Diploma of Architecture Student at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where she studied a Double Major in Architectural Design and Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism, and a Minor in Art History. Upon graduation she received an Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction. During her year out she worked as a design assistant at Eve Waldron Design in Cambridge, working on a variety of office, residential, and Cambridge College based projects.
From her studies and time in practice, Helena has developed a deeply personal approach to architecture, focusing on the human first. Her thesis this year has aimed to provide spaces for communities and individuals to connect. Through exploring different design and research methodologies she has developed a comprehensive skillset, which she plans to hone and expand upon further, moving into the professional world, gaining experience in different sectors and design disciplines.
A Place for Strangers to Become Friends
Spaces need to be provided for communal activity in the city, giving people reason to come together, connect, and engage. How can the public realm be utilised to reconnect a neighbourhood’s physical infrastructure, as well as its residents and social infrastructure? Can a series of “pearls”, which enable the performance of a public domesticity and communal making distributed throughout the existing fabric of a neighbourhood action community bonds and teach people skills for sustainable production?
The pressures of contemporary urban life push us to live in a more individualistic and secluded manner, forcing us to perform the majority of our daily activities independently, therefore isolating us from those with whom we share the city. Glasgow has a history of destruction to both its physical and social infrastructure through both slum clearances and the construction of the motorway, making it the ideal place to begin to repair this fabric. Additionally, the pandemic has caused the issues of loneliness and their detrimental effects on mental health and wellbeing to become more prevalent than ever.
Something has been lost in the way we now live. Social fabric needs to be repaired and the public realm redefined and revitalised, to allow people to come together to form meaningful connections.