Friday, 7 November 2014

Gdes3003 Module Visit, Lecture & Workshop At The Centre for Alternative Technology - 2014

We had a busy afternoon over at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) recently for the Gdes3003 Green Design cohorts. Students took part in a lecture around 'Zero Carbon Britain' which is CAT's latest research into how we might de-carbonize our economy. Students also took part in linked workshops which allowed them to think further and make some of their own decisions about the importance of some of the issues raised in the lectures. This all took place within the amazing Sheppard Lecture Theatre - which is the largest rammed-earth structure in Europe. It's a fantastic building and quite an awe-inspiring place to undertake talks and workshops.. 

I've put some images of the day's various activities below and have also placed some quotes from students taken via audio interviews on the coach on the way back to Worcester.
"It (the lecture) was broad in nature - but I think much of the information was transferable and I'll be bearing some of it in mind when I’m thinking about my further packaging ideas."
The cohorts on the way over to CAT in the morning.
"I’d not been to anywhere like (CAT) before. I loved the mud-walled lecture theatre and the way it was heated and cooled like that with the big doors and ceiling vents – it was a really good experience.." 
Students undertake workshops around what they feel is important
for a sustainable future.
"With (the concept of) 'Zero Carbon Britain' I really do think it’s achievable - but I think it’s only going to be possible by getting politicians to pull their fingers out – it won’t happen without new legislation.. There’s only so much individuals can do really.."
The Sheppard lecture theatre's rammed-earth walls..
"I’m always in support of getting out of the classroom to see new things."
A mix of graphics and sustainability elective module students
work through workshop tasks along with design lecturer Andy Stevenson.
"Going out, seeing other things and how they do things at CAT was really positive. I wonder if we could do something there that allowed us a couple of days on site maybe – instead of just the afternoon – that would be even better - there's so much to see."
Student listen to Ann's lecture around their 'Zero Carbon Britian'
research findings.
"I haven’t been anywhere like (CAT) before, I was really looking forwards to going as I find all that eco stuff really interesting. The way (Ann) showed all the info and graphs were really good too. It brings the stats alive into a way you can understand it, it was great, I love learning."
An interior shot of the WISE building at CAT
(Wales Institute for Sustainable Education).
"I found the visit and lecture really interesting, a lot of people talk about sustainability and low impact living but CAT seems to actually ‘do it’. I thought their ethics were really interesting too – not taking funding from big business or being biased or in anyone’s pockets."
Zero Carbon Britain and it's effects on future food production
and our own consumption.
"The idea of CAT and what they do is great – they should do more of these around the world. I really liked the lecture theatre made of mud in particular. Having the infographics and graphs made it all a bit more eye opening too – I’m a visual learner!"

Hearty food from CAT's vegetarian restaurant on site.
"I’d been there as a child - but even though I’d been before, it was still interesting to look around all the exhibits.. I felt that Ann's lecture expanded nicely on issues we’d started to discuss in some of our sessions - especially ZCB. Plenty to see and do there.."
Another group of students work through tasks set on the back of the 
Zero Carbon Britain talks.
"I really liked CAT and the architecture there. It was good that we had a mix of lecture and workshops – it broke up the afternoon well."
A close-up of some of the 'issues' students were asked
to 'rank' in order of importance.
"CAT was really different – I’d never been anywhere like that before – really interesting.."

Ann and Andy talk about sustainability in the round -
Andy discusses second uses, closed cycles etc with the Hobsons' brief.

Students walk around one of the various exhibitions on site.

Students were set a documentary task on site
to put on their own journal/research blogs.

Some of this year's group on site with the nearby Welsh hills in the backdrop.

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