Visions of the Elephant workshop

A very enjoyable design and drawing workshop run with 15 students from local High Schools in SE17 in December.

This was organised and run by the Architecture Foundation as an Education Project for Lend Lease.

I led the first workshop with Anna  in Dec 2013 called: Being Curious around the Elephant

These are the postcards that I made for the students (with some images of them working in each location), on our tour of the Elephant to explore the “visions” that have determined its architecture and layout from 1870 to the present day.


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Our day out in Elephant

“We started under the backside of the elephant. Strange to think this small but familiar statue has signposted this location for longer than the buildings around it. For the assembled group, they don’t know about Elephant & Castle as anything other that what we see today – a strange, neglected but convenient hangover from the past. Not important, somewhere to change bus fast – that’s all.

But, could we think about the Elephant in another way; more dynamic, always changing; a repository for new ideas & experiments? We wanted to explore the visions that shaped the Elephant from 1870 to the present day. Armed with postcards sent from the past and used to prompt discussions, we found evidence of how the Elephant has changed six times since 1870. In each location we drew the vision and discussed the ideas that generated it. We met contemporary residents, in homes from the 1890’s & the 1960’s, at ground level and ten floors up.

The drawings were important, an opportunity for individuals to become immersed, drawing differing visions and documenting the consequences of them. We swapped concertina sketchbooks in each location and ended the day with a series of compilations as busy, detailed, connected and intricate as the Elephant itself.

Throughout the day, the Elephant surprized us many times; layers were revealed as we separated out the visions. And we surprised ourselves by being able to jettison many architectural prejudices. We loved being inside the curious concrete Perronet House with its sky gardens, directly overlooking the northern roundabout and the city, with that same small elephant as part of its front garden …..”

Workshop by Diana Cochrane, Anna Ludwig & Rufufs Willis

Thanks to Linda & Ben on the Pullens and Ben and Richard @ Perronet House and AF education manager Aislinn White

Anna and Rufus and the students invited me back in February to see what they did with the BA(Hons) Architecture Students @ the Cass: collages about  ideas for the Aylesbury estate

And then they made a newspaper. Some excerpts here


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Phuoc presented the workshop outcomes to Community Council

Phuoc presented the workshop outcomes to Community Council

Phuoc presented the workshop outcomes to Community Council

Phuoc presented the workshop outcomes to Community Council













We started at the Elephant

We finished at the Elephant

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