UEL students engaged with the public to help decide how to turn an abandoned East London wasteland into a creative hub.
The discussions took place at UEL’s stand at Ecobuild, an exhibition at the Excel centre. The stand focused on the Cody Dock, the site between London's cable car, Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park that has been abandoned and sealed for decades.
Information collected during the event will now inform student design projects to envisage a future role for Cody Dock as home to a new permanent community and creative hub at the heart of the regeneration of East London
“Our stand resembled our studio space in the AVA building, and it was named the UEL Design Lab,” said Blessing Mudzamiri, a student at UEL’s School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE). “We wanted students to be inspired for designing their proposals for the Cody Dock project.”
The stand included a map of the area around the dock and was extended to cover UEL’s Docklands campus. Over the three days students invited the public to help them by adding words to their map to determine what would appeal to the public and raise awareness of the dock.
“It was surreal to see how the OS map we began with slowly disappeared and a new map, made by the students and the public, took its place and brought life to our stand,” said ACE student Erica da Silva Correira. “It took us a few weeks to make the stand and the final piece to it was the map made by us and the public.”
Ecobuild is a marketplace for sustainable, construction and resourceful materials as well as for international companies looking for potential clients. It also provides students the opportunity to attend various talks by experts in diverse fields relating to the sustainable built environment.
“It was a great success and quite surreal to plant a bubble of UEL studio life in the middle of all the bustle of the Excel centre,” said Raphael Lee, Senior Lecturer and BSc Architecture First Year Coordinator at ACE.
“The students got so much out of the experience being put on the spot by members of the public and quizzed by all sorts of building professionals, specialists and students from other schools.”
An exhibition of the completed work and suggestions for the site will be open at Cody Dock in June this year.
Notes to Editors
The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.