Cove Park was announced as the winner of British Council’s Architecture, Design, Fashion’s Future By Design open call on 25 March 2021. This initiative is designed to inspire and promote a global dialogue around climate change, with a specific focus on engaging young people.

We are delighted to have this exciting opportunity to develop an ambitious new project, and to work with Ghanaian-Filipino agrowaste designer Mae-ling Lokko and Scottish architect Tom Morton, of Arc Architects, on the design of a hybrid, eco-sustainable ‘open classroom’ for Cove Park, developed collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary cohort of young people from across Scotland and connected to the interdisciplinary Ashesi Entrepreneurship Centre in Ghana. 

Over the past few weeks, the team in Ghana have finalised the design of a landscape installation in response to flooding conditions in the southwest corner of Accra’s largest public green space, Efua Sutherland Children’s Park. Responding to the shifting urban water flow and change in rainfall patterns, the installation aims to slow down, store and use water discharged into the park using high water retention soil media and flood tolerant flora. Having completed the clearing and layout for the project, the team in Ghana now welcomes any member of the public to join in on a public  terraforming and planting programme on Saturday, August 7th from 8.30am-4.30pm. Please visit the link here to signup.

Here in Scotland, the young professionals – architects, landscape designers and designers – have met on site with Tom and taken part in workshops to determine the ideal site for the ‘open classroom’. Working in smaller teams, with input from Tom and, via Zoom from Ghana, with Mae-ling, the young people have taken part in a series of workshops focussing upon elements of the design of the classroom, such as the gridshell structure, mycelium and the terraforming process. The installation and build on site of the classroom will begin in mid-August and the classroom will launch in mid-September 2021.

A series of 6 workshop at Cove Park, aimed at children in primary and secondary school are underway this summer. Co-created and led by the students and young professionals who form the Scottish cohort these workshops include model making, stop motion animation, natural dying and mapping. Funded by The Maple Trust, these free workshop will engage individuals and groups directly with the development of the project. In addition we have secured further funding from YouthLink Scotland’s Summer of Play fund to host supplementary workshops for teenagers and young people focusing in greater detail on the build including mycelium growing with Mae-ling and terraforming of the site.

Future By Design is funded by and developed  in collaboration with British Council Architecture Design Fashion.

Arts & Business Scotland, through The Culture & Business Fund Scotland COVID-19 Recovery & Renewal Strand, are also match-funding generous in-kind sponsorship from Mae-ling and Tom. The funding will bolster the Future By Design programme of activity to support four live events around the future of water, co-curated by both Ghanaian and Scottish cohorts of young people, with the guidance and support of Mae-ling and Tom and delivered by Cove Park. The focus of many of the events and conversations will be the intersectionality of environmental, racial and social justice. Further information on this award is available here.

Regular Future By Design will appear on these pages and via Cove Park’s social media and we look forward to sharing more news very soon.

Image: Future By Design, Ghana Group (credit Eugene Daniels)